By Dr. Ashwani K Malhotra
Swine Flu: The number of patients of Swine flu and the deaths of the critically ill among them is rising every day with reports of newer patients being admitted to the isolation wards specially created for Swine flu patients in hospitals across the country.Not that all the patients with a running nose, cough and cold and fever are swine flu patients ,nor is there any need to panic, for as Dr.Gurmeet Singh,Medical specialist at the Civil Hospital says ,” the symptoms of Swine flu are similar to those of a viral influenza and usually are self limiting , disappearing within 3 to 5 days and are treatable with over the counter drugs, yet those in contact with a suspected swine flu patient or with more severe symptoms and of a longer duration or who are in the vulnerable age group of children and the elderly and the ones with a kidney, liver disease and diabetes or cancer, one should suspect the possibility of Swine flu and investigate and treat the patient accordingly. Ideally the serious ones should be admitted in an isolation ward especially for Swine – flu patients “Swine flu , like other air borne infections , which may be viral or bacterial like the common cold, influenza , pneumonia , tuberculosis and mumps and diphtheria in children spreads through the air when one sneezes or coughs persistently and if the another person is in close contact with an infected person he or she could also get the infection. ” Whenever a patient coughs , sneezes or has a running nose,he should cover his nose and mouth with a tissue paper,handkerchief , dupatta or a mask and wash or dispose off the same. The infections can also spread through touching the mouth and nose with infected hands and through the fomites that is inanimate objects like wooden tops of desks, computer key boards, remote controls of AC, TV and phone sets, taps in the toilets and kitchen in our homes and offices and by shaking hands.Therefore we should wash our hands frequently and greet people with folded hands instead of shaking hands. Doctors and paramedics and those who frequently get infected with flu like symptoms and the vulnerable groups should get vaccinated.” says Dr. Hardeep Singh, Consultant Physician at the Mohan Dai Oswal Hospital.After all prevention is better than cure !
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