By Sfoorti Mishra
New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) With a high number of suspected cases of Influenza Types A and B being reported in Delhi, a doctor at the prestigious AIIMS on Thursday advised people not to take the symptoms of the disease lightly.
Though the exact number of influenza cases have not been specified by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), most patients coming there are complaining of sniffling, aches, cough, and high fever.
Dr Gaurav Gupta of the Medicine Department said: “Influenza should not be taken lightly. Patients should immediately consult a doctor in case of symptoms of the disease. Patients with flu-like symptoms must be screened at healthcare facilities, monitored, and their condition reassesed after every 24 to 48 hours. Patients should confine themselves at home and avoid mixing with the public and high-risk members in their family.”
Swine Flu or Influenza A (H1N1) flu is an acute respiratory disease caused by swine influenza A strain. It is highly contagious.
Influenza epidemics are usually at their peak during winters, especially from mid-January, and subside by April. Influenza or flu cases again rise in the monsoons, that is, from August but lose intensity by November.
The effects of seasonal influenza epidemics in developing countries like India are not fully known, but research cites that lower respiratory tract infections are found in such countries.
In terms of transmission, seasonal influenza spreads easily, with rapid transmission in crowded areas. The incubation period (time from infection to manifestation of illness) ranges from two to four days.
Experts say that patients showing symptoms of acute respiratory infection — sudden cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever less or equal to 100.4 Farenheit — may be suspected cases of influenza.
Patient may also complain of muscle pain, bodyache, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Experts suggest that patients complaining of symptoms like breathlessness, chest pain, drowsiness, fall in blood pressure, sputum mixed with blood, bluish discolouration of nails should report to healthcare facilities.
Patients with uncomplicated influenza, who have had more than 48 hours of influenza signs and symptoms, should not be treated with antivirals.
Antiviral therapy should be given for outpatients who present themselves at the healthcare centres within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms with confirmed or suspected influenza infection and who are at increased risk of complications.