Swine flu: Experts worried by rising cases, advise caution

The spurt in the number of swine flu cases this year has perplexed even the experts. While last year less than half a dozen cases were reported, the total number of cases has reached 30 this year, and still counting.

Significantly, contrary to the past wherein cases would pour in from specific areas, this time cases are being reported from different places and are isolated in nature. Experts say this is one of the reasons why the spread is not being controlled besides the dip in the temperature in the past few days.

Doctors are hopeful that with winters subsiding, within next 10 days or so, the virus should be on the decline.

However, offering a word of caution, Dr Rajesh Kumar, head of the department, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, said, "H1N1 virus is a very difficult virus to control once it spreads. It is in the air and cannot be controlled at this stage. Since we are getting cases from isolated areas, it is all the more pertinent that there should be early detection and early treatment. If a patient is admitted to the hospital, adequate preventive measures should be taken by the hospital to ensure that the risk for the staff is mitigated."

"There are three kinds of cases: one is clinical wherein we see early signs of the virus in a patient, second is sub-clinical where there are no signs or symptoms, and the third has mild symptoms. Nevertheless, it is not at all advisable that the patient should start self-medication by taking Tami Flu on his own. A doctor should be consulted under all circumstances," added Dr Rajesh.

Also, expectant mothers should be careful as they are more prone to this flu as their immunity levels are low due to various physiological changes that they go through during the pregnancy.

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