By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 11: The growing epidemic of swine flu has triggered a scare in Assam. Reports of death of two patients and infection on ten others have created a panic, with even healthy people feeling on the edge.
However, medical experts said there is nothing to panic as the disease is a type of influenza and can be prevented with adequate care and also cured.
“There is a panic all around. It should not happen. People are freaking out even if they are getting normal cold and flu. Today there were around 200 patients at the OPD of Jorhat Medical College and Hospital. Most of them had normal flu but were frightened apprehending that they were infected by H1N1. We did not even have to recommend H1N1 tests for even a single patient,” said a senior doctor of the medical institute.
Consultant physician Dr Dibyajyoti Kalita says the recovery rate of the disease is “very good” and proper hygiene was the key to prevention.
“I would recommend proper hygiene to the people. Frequent washing of hands is very important. And normally, people should stay at arm’s length from others, especially when in public places. Healthy food habits are also important for immunity. One should take a lot of water and fluids,” Kalita says. According to the doctor, Category I of the disease, whose symptoms are mild fever, body ache, soar throat do not even need drug therapy. Adequate rest and healthy food habits can cure the stage.
Even in Category II, whose symptoms are high fever, neck pain etc, only those patients who are above 65 years of age and children below 5 years need drug therapy.
Only in case the infection is of the third category – with symptoms of respiratory problems, altered sensorium, severe loose motion, unconsciousness and prolonged flu and high fever – the patients need to be immediately hospitalized and treated.
Doctors in the State hoped that the virus will gradually weaken in about a month’s time. “With the temperatures rising, it should not be able to sustain for too long,” they said.
Meanwhile, the Assam Health & Family Welfare Department today reviewed the situation in presence of the officials of Directorate of Health Services, Medical Education and Gauhati Medical College.
As of today, 10 cases have been found positive in the State out of which 2 deaths have occurred in Jorhat district.
The Nodal Officer said that all district hospitals are fully prepared with isolation wards to keep all suspected cases and all medical colleges are kept ready with ICU facility to treat any cases of Influenza H1N1. Stock of medicine for treating the cases is available and the necessary logistics for treatment are available at present. For diagnosis of H1N1 two laboratories – one at Gauhati Medical College, Microbiology Department and another at the Regiol Medical Research Centre, Lahowal are desigted for testing of H1N1.