Following two suspected swine flu deaths in a city hospital here, doctors have confirmed that the number of suspected swine flu cases in Delhi are on the rise with symptoms being very similar to normal influenza.
“We have reported a few cases for the influenza virus. This virus spreads like common flu. It is a droplet infection which spreads through act of sneezing, coughing and close contact with a known case of influenza infection,” said Colonel Vijay Dutta, senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre at Vasant Kunj.
He explained that the dry winter chills has led to a spurt of swine flu/influenza cases in the Capital. Swine flu has common symptoms for a common cold and can thus, be ignored or misdiagnosed.
“Patients usually complain of irritation/sore throat, running nose and abdominal ache, cough. Usually in most of the cases, the symptoms subsides with symptomatic treatment alone within a week’s time. But if the patient is having co-morbid disease like diabetes, cancer, kidney disorders, such patient need to be careful,” said Anil Bansal from Delhi Medical Association.
Doctors advise maintaining hydration, hand hygiene, cough hygiene (coughing and sneezing into the disposable tissue), suitable disposal of this infected waste material.
Travelling to places where such cluster cases are reported should be avoided. Getting yourself a vaccination with quadrivalent flu vaccine shot before the weather becomes extreme is important and recommended for high-risk cases.
Meanwhile, the State Health Department too, has issued an advisory asking people not to panic and listing out a series of good practices to follow.
“Seasonal influenza (H1N1) is a self-limiting viral, air-borne diseases spread from person-to-person, through large droplets generated by the act of coughing and sneezing, indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface [fomite transmission like telephone, cell phones, computers, door handles, door bells, pens, toys etc.] and close contact [including hand shaking, hugging, kissing],’’ said a senior health official.
Many people in the Delhi-NCR region have already become victims of seasonal influenza (H1N1) virus, commonly known as swine flu. H1N1 has three categories – A, B and C.
While A and B categories need home care, category C requires immediate hospitalisation and medical intervention as its symptoms and outcomes are extremely severe and could result in death.
D.S. Chaddha, director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital added that swine flu is resurfacing in India.
“Check with the healthcare provider about any special care that might be needed if the patient is pregnant or has a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma or emphysema. Also ensure that you seek doctor’s advice on whether the patient should take anti-viral medications. Keep the patient away from other people as much as possible. They should not be going to school or work,” added Dr. Chaddha.