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Posted at: Jan 1, 2019, 2:29 AM; last updated: Jan 1, 2019, 2:29 AM (IST)

Swine flu cases soar, more feared due to cold

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 31

After the eighth suspected case of H1N1 virus (swine flu) was reported on Saturday, the district has been put on a high alert.

The Health Department has already warned residents of the deadly virus. Though one death has been reported in this season, it warned that cases could increase in the coming days as the temperature has dipped. Experts said children under five years of age, pregnant women and senior citizens were particularly vulnerable to the infection and should take special precaution and care. 

A 55-year-old woman from Nabha, the latest suspected case, was admitted on Sunday to a private hospital. Till now, three persons have been found positive of the H1N1 virus of the eight suspected cases.

District epidemiologist Dr Gurmeet said, “The peak season usually starts from the first week of January. City residents are advised to take care of their hygiene and avoid contact with any suspected person.”

However, Dr Gurmeet said the latest suspected case was fortunately found negative. He said the department had set up swine flu wards in all government and civil hospitals in the district and four ventilators at Government Rajindra Hospital had already been assigned to deal with swine flu cases only. 

The symptoms of swine flu include cold, high fever, cough, sore throat, breathlessness, running nose, body ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Doctors across the state have been directed to provide immediate care to anyone who complains of these symptoms. Residents can take precautions by washing hands properly, using sanitisers and avoiding visiting crowded places.

Types of infection 

Category A

Patients with mild fever and cough/sore throat with or without body ache, headache, diarrhoea and vomiting will be categorised in Category A. They do not require oseltamivir and should be treated for the symptoms mentioned above.

Category B

In addition to all the signs and symptoms mentioned under Category A, if the patient has high fever and severe sore throat, he may require home isolation and oseltamivir. No tests for H1N1 are required.

Category C

In addition to the signs and symptoms of Categories A and B, if the patient has one or more of the following: Breathlessness, chest pain, drowsiness, fall in blood pressure, sputum mixed with blood, refusal to accept feed, then he will be put in Category C and will require testing, immediate hospitalisation and treatment.        

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