VIJAYAWADA: The H1N1 virus, known as swine flu, is spreading panic across the country with deaths being reported from several States over the years.
According to health experts, the H1N1 influenza virus, is prone to appear when the temperatures dip and winter arrives. The issue is that the disease spreads through air and not via a vector, as in dengue, and thus transmission is more rapid.
“Elderly people, diabetics, those with kidney problems, cancer patients and pregnant women are at risk and thus should take precautions,” said Mohammad Usman, pulmonologist at Sandhya Hospitals.
A senior doctor at Government General Hospital (GGH) admitted that over the years, the hospital had been facing infrastructural issues in handling the large number of swine flu cases.
Swine Influenza (H1N1) is a respiratory disease caused by type A influenza virus and spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing or through touch.
The medicine generally prescribed for the disease is Tamiflu, which must be taken only under doctor’s prescription.
“So awareness among people about the precautions they can take at their level can play a vital role in checking the spread of the disease,” said the doctor.
Another doctor K Murali Krishna at Help Hospitals urged the residents to only consult registered medical practitioners and to not self-medicate.
“H1N1 influenza virus is treatable. Deaths occur only due to delay in seeking treatment or other underlying conditions such as diabetes or heart and lung ailments. To protect all those close to a patient and those treating one, Tamiflu is also administered to family and friends as well as the doctors and nurses treating the patient,” Murali Krishna said.
Also, the patient’s house is disinfected with a 5 per cent lysol and 10 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution, he added.
“80 per cent of transmission occurs through contact with the hands. So washing one’s hands frequently is crucial,” the doctor at Help Hospitals advised the public.