Thursday, August 13, 2009

Swin Flu Facts Gleaned from Epidemiologists, Not Over-enthusiastic Media Persons

These are some swine flu facts from Deepak Purohit, a Rotarian, through my langoti-yaar Sanjeevan (who is a media sidekick, by the way). It is the sort of information I was looking for:

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These are few facts about swine flu which emerged when I discussed it with leading epidemiologists.

1) Swine flu, that is H1N1 flu is not new, it was first detected in 1987.

2) The infective stage of flue is 5 days, 1 day before and 4 days after onset of symptoms.

3) The best way to prevent it spreading is asking patient having symptoms of flu like fever cough and running nose to take rest at home for 4 days so he does not transmit it.

4) Masks are of limited value, if any. This disease can spread through droplets on your skin, through contact etc., and I have seen that the masks in Pune are worn as a fashion statement. In fact these masks shall act as a vehicle to carry the virus. Instead, avoiding crowded places or cinema halls or malls where air conditioners are on all the time. Air-conditioners re-circulated air, thereby acting as a multiplier of the virus.

5) Death after H1N1 flu is not common, in fact, is rare. Infections like measles are taking a toll of thousands more every year, and we are oblivious of the facts. Swine flu is being blown out of proportion by media trying to create hysteria among lay people.

6) Fever accompanied by respiratory distress, should be immediately notified which is likely to be a complication of H1N1 flu.

7) The mortality is less than .01 percent of those affected, that means may be one in 10,000 affected is likely to suffer from life loss.

8) If you remember, 2 years ago SARS was blown out of proportion, what happened then? Humans develop immunity to the virus. The same is going to happen in this case, we develop immunity in due course of time, the virus is in the air, you cannot stop it, our body is already developing immunity, so don’t panic. We need to take care of children and elderly who have less immunity and not let them go into crowded places.

Do not be afraid of this flu; continue with your daily routine, ordinary citizens do not need to wear masks. They are only for healthcare workers or those exposed to lot of crowded environments, but the benefits of masks are not proven.

Please spread this information, which comes from scientists.

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