Friday, August 07, 2009

The Indian Swine Flu Scare

Do we need to PANIC?

There is NEVER a need to PANIC. With the below mentioned common answers, you should be able to feel more confident about Swine Flu, especially in the Indian context. The media hype in this regard needs to be ignored.

So what are the common SWINE FLU SYMPTOMS?

The symptoms of swine flu are essentially indistinguishable from the familiar misery of seasonal flu: fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headache, sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. So which of us need to contact the doctor?
If you have traveled abroad to a country with a large number of Swine Flu cases in the last two weeks, and have Flu like symptoms.
If you have personally met someone who was later diagnosed to have Swine Flu in the last two weeks, & you have flu like symptoms.

Only under these circumstances do you need to worry about Swine Flu in India, at the present moment.

How can I prevent SWINE FLU?

Just like regular seasonal flu virus, the swine flu virus is thought to spread on droplets emitted by coughing and sneezing or deposited on hands and surfaces, then transferred to nose or mouth. Thus, practicing the usual precautions will help prevent its spread:

* Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw it away promptly. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your sleeve.

* Wash your hands thoroughly and often, especially after sneezing or coughing, using soap and water or an alcohol rub. I personally use non alcoholic hand sanitizer by Himalaya Pharmaceuticals called Pure Hands, this is easily available with your local chemist shop. Any good hand sanitizer would do.

* Wipe surfaces like doorknobs using a regular cleaner.

* If you’re sick with flu-like symptoms, even if you don’t feel sick enough to go to the doctor, stay home from work or school to avoid giving the virus to someone else.

The most effective way to prevent Swine Flu is by STAYING at HOME, and by regular hand washing.
Please remember that as of now there is no vaccination (though one is likely to be available by the end of 2009 or sooner), antiviral medicines are generally not needed, and the disease is generally mild in most people.

When do I need to go to the Hospital?

If you have breathing problems, then you need to go the Emergency Room. Rest, Plenty of Warm Fluids, and mild OTC medications for Fever like Crocin, Brufen etc. should help you recover within 5-7 days.

Where can I get more information about Swine Flu in India?

Swine Flu India is the central website for all information and updates.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has an information page for Swine Flu. This MS Word document supplied on the above page has contact information and details of the Control Rooms and Nodal Officers/Doctors for ALL states in India.

For Chandigarh J&K & Punjab, diagnostic facilities are available in PGI, Sector 12, Chandigarh.

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