Swine flu outbreak in Assam: Symptoms and precautions | Health

Several cases of swine flu infections have been reported in Assam’s Barak Valley, including one death, where health department officials are using Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA), Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) and other frontline workers to examine if the virus has spread to other parts of the district. There are reportedly four active cases of patients in Cachar while in Hailakandi, there has been one reported death of a 1.5-year-old due to swine flu.

Swine flu outbreak in Assam: Symptoms and precautions (HT File Photo)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Subrata Das, HOD, Internal Medicine and Diabetology at Sakra World Hospital in Bengaluru, shared, “The swine flu outbreak in Assam has raised concerns, as symptoms resemble those of the common flu, including fever, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may lead to breathlessness and complications such as pneumonia and low oxygen levels.”

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He advised, “Precautions against swine flu are similar to those for Covid-19, emphasising the importance of wearing masks, frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and maintaining overall hygiene. Additionally, individuals are advised to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, avoid touching their face, and steer clear of sick individuals. If feeling unwell, it’s recommended to stay home to prevent further spread of the virus. Adults need to receive the annual flu vaccine, which shields them against severe complications of flu.”

H1N1 is simply one of the strains of the influenza virus, that causes H1N1 flu, also commonly called “swine flu” as it was originally found in pigs. The virus is quite contagious and spreads between humans quickly and effectively, causing symptoms similar to those of the regular human flu.

Key precautions to avoid swine flu or H1N1:

1. Being informed – it is critical to rely on credible medical information for awareness, when it comes to infectious diseases

2. Covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when one coughs or sneezes. Be sure to dispose the tissue immediately after use, in a safe manner

3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water or use of hand sanitizers

4. Avoiding close contact with those who are obviously or suspected to be sick

5. Isolation to prevent spreading it to others

6. Most importantly, getting an annual influenza vaccine helps reduce the risk and severity of H1N1.

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