Beware: Swine Flu Spreads In Nagpur



It is time Nagpur city got better prepared for prevalent swine flu that appears to be spreading all over. It would be good for medical pharmacies to stock up on antiviral medicines and antibiotics that will be needed to treat anyone who becomes ill during the current spike in swine flu cases. It is also the time to follow up on the new vaccine against the virus that is being currently developed. In the meantime the general public is advised to make use of masks when they move outdoors.

The city witnessed a gradual increase in the cases of swine flu cases and deaths have been reported from all quarters.  Health authorities and citizens are facing the dreaded disease that has since January 2017 seen over 300 people testing positive for the H1N1 virus.  Critical patients are quickly hospitalized and those having the symptoms of flu like conditions are being advised to stay isolated at home.

It is true that when people around you start suffering is when the enormity of the situation dawns. As part of its social responsibility, HERD Pharmacy has started advising people to take better care and stay out of harm’s way. Managers and front line staff is proactively talking to the customers to protect their families by observing essential do’s and don’ts. It may not be possible to monitor everybody but precautionary measures are being spelled out.

Just like in the case of regular flu, people who are getting infected by swine flu need to take lots of rest. They can use specific prescribed medications that will reduce their temperature and help bring down their symptoms. Antiviral medications for swine flu are available across all HERD Pharmacy counters and people affected by the virus will get treated by them. It would be essential to take complete rest that will relieve symptoms and reduce potential complications.

Most city doctors are prescribing specified antivirals or antibiotics to people being diagnosed for flu or swine-flu. Seriously ill patients are immediately being hospitalized. It is a good idea to read up as much with regard to flu-like symptoms if anyone is having concerns about suspicion of flu like symptoms. In all events you must rush to see a doctor immediately to confirm the case.

Antibiotics are mostly used to treat swine flu patients who may develop complications. They help combat bacterial infections. A vaccine to protect against swine flu is being developed, but it is not available as yet. It is especially important to safeguard high-risk groups susceptible to the disease and these include – people with chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease, immunosuppression and diabetes mellitus, patients who have had drug treatment for asthma within the past three years, pregnant women, people aged 65 years and older, and young children under five years old.

Be wary of swine flu symptoms like cold, cough, sore throat, headache and fever or difficulty in breathing. If tested positive one should start taking precautions and treatment immediately. Swine flu (H1N1) is a disease caused by virus infection. The infection can spread from one person to another through the infected person’s sneeze, cough, and so on. One should not neglect any symptom and immediately visit a doctor.


Ebola – Facts and Fiction

Safety First

Ebola Virus Scare

Ebola Virus Disease, EVD or Ebola as it is now better known is a severe, fatal illness. The outbreak started in remote villages of Central and West Africa near tropical rainforests. The virus transmitted to people from wild animals and then spread through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are said to be natural host of Ebola virus. Severely ill patients need intensive supportive care and no licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for treatment. Ebola outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.

Ebola affected the human population through close contact through blood, secretions, organs and other bodily fluids of infected animals. It then spread in communities through human-to-human transmission by direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes through blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people. It indirectly spreads through contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. Burial ceremonies also affect mourners who come in direct contact with the body of deceased. Men who recover can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery.

EVD is a severe acute viral illness characterized by sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Ebola virus was isolated from semen 61 days after onset of illness in a man who was infected in a laboratory.

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is 2 to 21 days. No licensed vaccine for EVD is available. Several vaccines are being tested, but none are available for clinical use. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. Patients are frequently dehydrated and require oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes or intravenous fluids. No specific treatment is available. In the absence of effective treatment, raising awareness of the risk factors for Ebola infection and recommending protective measures is the only way to reduce human infection.

The disease is causing palpable panic. Ebola outbreak may hit India with passengers arriving from African countries where deaths have been reported due to the disease. With every arrival the situation gets grim. At least twelve persons found to having fever and sore throat associated with Ebola were quarantined at the Airport Health Organization (APHO), a special health centre run by health ministry to screen international passengers for deadly diseases. They have sent passengers blood sample for tests who have also been made to undergo detailed health screening. None seemed to have symptoms of the disease.

State governments too are tracking and monitoring passengers arriving from countries where Ebola outbreaks are being reported. Such passengers are screened through local health facilities and local health authorities ensure follow up on a day-to-day basis for a month.  773 passengers have been tracked this way in Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.  Ebola suspects are made to wear suit and face mask as they deplane. Aircrafts carrying suspected passengers are sequestered and fumigated and luggage of suspects is also isolated.

With due care being taken it remains the responsibility of travelers coming from affected countries to protect themselves from getting affected. The primary means of preventing Ebola involves avoiding direct contact with the body fluid of infected people, as well as anyone who has died from the disease. We all have to be well-prepared to identify and deal with any potential cases of Ebola, though as yet none have been reported in our country. Any patient with suspected symptoms needs to be diagnosed within 24 hours and should be isolated at a dedicated unit to keep the public safe.

Understanding How Ebola May Spread

Ebola – The Source