52 more swine flu cases, docs say basic hygiene will help control virus

Fifty-two people tested positive for swine flu on Wednesday, taking the total number of people diagnosed with the virus since the beginning of the year to 206. Doctors said basic preventive measures can help avoid the disease.

Vice-chairperson in respiratory medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Dr Arup Kumar Basu said: "H1N1 is a droplet infection, so preventive measures include basic hygiene like frequently washing your hands and using a handkerchief if you are coughing or sneezing. If you have a fever or any flu-like symptoms, it is advisable to go to a doctor within 3 to 5 days."

Considering the contagious nature of the infection, people diagnosed with the virus, or even suspected patients, should use a mask or cover their face. Doctors said proper nutritional intake, including food products rich in multivitamins and anti-oxidants, and drinking fluids is important.

"These measures can help in controlling the spread of the infection. People showing symptoms should also avoid crowded places," Dr S Chatterjee, senior consultant in internal medicine at Apollo Hospitals, said.

On Wednesday, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Kalra and Lal Bahadur Shastri hospitals reported their first cases of swine flu. So far, most of the cases were reported from Central and South Delhi hospitals.

Six of the 52 patients were from Safdarjung Hospital. Health department officials said 32 of the 52 who tested positive, were not admitted to any hospitals.

Doctors and health staff at hospitals like RML and Safdarjung hospitals, which have been treating several cases of H1N1, have been advised to take prophylactic Tamiflu. Doctors at other hospitals have taken preventive vaccines.

Senior consultant in internal medicine at Max Hospital, Saket, Dr Monica Mahajan said: "Vaccination is an annual process for us around September-October, but the strains of the virals change every year. Vaccines produced over the last few years do provide protection against the H1N1 strain, but they take about three weeks to bring the immunity. Most of our staff took the vaccine last year."

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