On 6 August, 2017, celebrity film star Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao were scheduled to attend a prize distribution ceremony hosted by Paani Foundation. The couple, however, could not make it and in a video recorded message informed the audience that the couple were suffering from Swine Flu and were under quarantine. A couple of years ago, as she was shooting for the film Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, actress Sonam Kapoor had also tested positive for the H1N1 virus. Despite the attention that these news reports grab, India has remained vulnerable to an outbreak of Swine Flu over the recent years. Each year numerous deaths are reported and now once again alarming reports of an outbreak are pouring in.
Outbreak In The States
All through early august H1N1 cases have come pouring in leaving health officials across the country worried. The northern and western parts of India seem to have been more affected. Over 18 cases of Swine Flu including 4 deaths were reported from the Union Territory of Chandigarh by 4 August. Uttar Pradesh also presented a grim scene. Not less than 150 people across the state have tested positive for the H1N1 virus and about 12 deaths related to its spread have been recorded thus far. 9 school children are among those who have been affected. Maharashtra, however, seems to have been the worst affected by far. News reports dated 8 August, 2017, reveal that about 2,324 cases of Swine Flu were reported in the state by early July. The state also believes that by the first week of July, some 284 people died of the disease. As of early this month 24 patients tested positive in the eastern state of Odisha and one death due to Swine Flu was recorded. Other reports are pouring in from Gujarat and West Bengal as well. Despite repeated warnings health officials from the states are concerned that use of masks and precautions that could save valuable lives are not catching up in the country.
Precautions Against Swine Flu
While these disconcerting cases of Swine Flu are still coming to light here are some elementary precautions that you should be taking to minimize any chances of contacting the H1N1 virus –
1. Use disposable tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.
2. Regularly use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Particularly when outside home use the sanitizer regularly.
3. Avoid droplet infection by washing your hand with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer after using a public telephone, computer etc.
4. Keep safe distance from people who are suffering from any flu like symptoms.
5. If someone in your family or neighbourhood is suffering from Swine Flu remember to report it to a health officer.
6. Early detection makes Swine Flu completely curable. Report to a government hospital or a public health clinic if you suffer from flu like symptoms.
7. Avail of the H1N1 vaccination drives undertaken by state or municipal governments from time to time.