Thursday, August 10, 2017

Swaine Flu, Care and Caution

Influenza is unpredictable. It is zoonotic infection sharing gene from pigs, birds, humans etc. The virus is known to  drifts antigenically yearly and shifts every 10-40 years with pandemic potentiality. It was initially seen in humans in Mexico in 2009 and thereafter, spread in many countries of the world. Pandemic was declared over on 10 August 2010. 7 years completed after the declaration and and now it is circulating as seasonal flu.

Influenza A (H1N1), (H3N2) and influenza B are common strain in  circulation in India. Antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza are effective in curing the disease. There is no resistance observed so far.

You know 'yes' and 'no', but do you know HA and NA? The HA (hemagglutinin) and NA (neuraminidase) are the proteins that determines the subtype of influenza virus. They are important in the immune response against the virus. Protein made to combat infections are called antibodies that give protection against the infection. NA protein is the target of the antiviral drugs.

Common cold and flu are the common diseases of the season. How do you judge the Swaine flu?First and foremost symptom is "Fever" is always present, so at present era person who is suffering from fever with symptoms of common cold and throat pains, running of nostrils should not go out of home. The patients with the complaint of fever and cold can be divided into three categories : A, B and C.

The category A patients with symptoms of mild fever and common cold may be kept under observation for 1- 2 days & may be given symptomatic medication, bed rest and plenty of liquids orally. If patient develop high grade fever they should consult doctor immediately.

The Category B patients with symptoms of high fever, cough, throat pain, and suspect of viruses in upper respiratory tract are to be given the anti viral treatment of Antiviral oseltamivir for 5 days.
Children may have biphasic fever. Category B1 is symptomatic patient without high risk conditions
And B2 is with high risk conditions like :
Age <5years & >65 years, Diabetes mellitus; Pregnancy, Preexisting Lung, liver, heart, Kidney brain diseases; HIV-AIDS cases; Patient on long term steroids /aspirin therapy; Health care workers

For precaution, any symptomatic child  shouldn't go to school for a week. Adult patient should keep home quarantine till 24 hours without fever except visiting a doctor. Category A &  B are not tested but treated with meticulous follow up.

The Group C are the patients having breathlessness, pneumonia or ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) or multi organ dysfunction syndrome. They are admitted in isolation ward, throat swab is taken for testing & anti viral oseltamivir treatment is given immediately. Ventilator and other supports may be necessary for survival.  If not taken care timely, there are more chances of fatality.

Influenza spreads between humans when infected people cough or sneeze, then other people breathe in the virus or touch something with the virus on it and then touch their own face. "Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth". Stop Handshaking. Follow only our ancient gesture of Namaskar. Maintain safe distance of 1 meter while talking to the people.

Viruses starts spreading one day prior to become symptomatic. Keep your handkerchief, napkin and towel separate. Whenever touch any object, i.e., knob or handle of the door/room, toilet door knobs, basin tap, etc, clean them after the touch/use. Small things but they go a long way in preventing diseases.

Drink hot water. Do salt water gargle twice in a day. Black pepper ubala in hot water is a very good medicine for cold cough and viral infection.

Gujarat Ayurveda has started distributing 'Trikatu' (three bitter spices: dry ginger, black pepper and lindi pepper) to develop a herd of immunity. Drink the ubala (boiled with water) of these spices twice in a day. Even the ubala of black pepper will be effective. It's a medicine for cough and cold. Children may be neck tied with a roasted ajwain (ajamo) pouch (potli). Ajwain is a home remedy for cold, cough and chest congestion in babies.

No need to panic.

Stay fit Act fit.

9 August 2017


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.