HYDERABAD: The dreaded swine flu is back in the twin cities but guess what is keeping it on the leash? The rising temperature is more than compensating for the absence of precautionary measures so much so that doctors at the Government General and Chest Diseases Hospital at Erragadda are confident that the H1N1 virus will soon wither away.
But it doesn’t mean that there is no cause for concern. If 45 positive cases, including three deaths, were recorded since Jan 1 till March 21 this year, 10 more cases have been reported in the last four days alone. Of them, one patient has died, confirmed Dr Subhakar, State coordinator for swine flu.
Notwithstanding these deaths, pulmonologists at the chest hospital maintain that swine flu has almost become like any other seasonal flu sans its potency.
“The H1N1 virus has lost its virulence.
Though the virus has become indigenous, it cannot cause any major health concerns,” explained Dr K Subhakar, clarifying that there was no need to panic.
In the same breath, he suggested that patients should consult a doctor if there’s any progression in swine flu symptoms in 48 hours.
“People with low immunity should also take vaccines,” he advised. According to him, normal flu itself causes 2.5-5 lakh deaths every year across the country.
On the absence of visible precautionary measures like screening at airports, he replied, “there’s no need to jump the gun at this juncture.
Maintaining basic hygiene and having a balanced died are the key precautionary measures. One needs to worry in case of, for example, severe pneumonia but otherwise not every common cold and cough is swine flu.
And persons with diabetes, blood pressure, kidney and heart ailments, pregnant women and children can opt for vaccines.” The chief physician further explained that the peaking summer temperatures have had a negative impact on the spread of swine flu this time. “The rise in temperatures definitely prevents the virus from multiplying as cold and damp conditions are best preferred,” he added
3RD IN THE COUNTRY?
This March alone, about 35 positive cases have been reported from different parts of the State. Across the country, over 150 positive cases and 14 deaths have been recorded this year so far. Maharashtra and Rajasthan are the other major states with the maximum number of swine flu cases along with Andhra Pradesh.