India Today Report
Over 2,500 people tested positive and at least 77 deaths were reported due to swine flu across the country this year till Thursday (January 24), with Rajasthan accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the cases.
According to a data issued by the government, 2,572 swine flu cases have been reported across the country with Rajasthan recording 1,508 cases and 56 deaths this year till Thursday.
It is followed by Gujarat with 438 cases and eight deaths and Delhi reporting the third highest number with 387 people being infected with the virus. No death has been reported due to the flu in the national capital so far.
The advisory states that seasonal influenza (H1N1) is a self-limiting viral, air borne disease spread from person-to-person, through large droplets generated by the act of coughing and sneezing, indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface (fomite transmission like telephone, cell phones, computers, door handles, door bells, pens, toys etc) and close contact, including hand shaking, hugging and kissing.
The Do’s and Don’ts mention covering nose and mouth with disposable tissue or handkerchief while coughing or sneezing, washing hands with soap and water frequently, avoiding crowding places, maintaining isolation, drinking plenty of liquid and consulting doctor.
As per the advisory, one should not touch eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands or hug, kiss and shake hands while greeting, or spit in public places, dispose of used napkin or tissue paper in open areas, smoke in public places.
Click here to read an article on ‘swine flu’ written by Amit Sengupta in 2015
The importance of hand-washing and the correct use of masks cannot be over emphasised
Hand-washing is most important
Careful attention to hand washing is crucial. Droplets can settle on the backs of seats or can be transferred to door handles from another person’s hands. Carry antibacterial hand wipes or liquid for hand-washing when access to soap and water is limited.
- Effectiveness of masks depends on the quality. Masks that stop >95% bacteria are adequate.
- Masks prevent moisture, and the Influenza A (H1N1) viruses are in the moisture
- Masks can get damp quite quickly from your own exhaling and then they are not a good barrier so you need to change them every 2 hours
- Don’t touch masks with your hands when you are wearing them
- Masks should be discarded immediately they become damp. Don’t remove them by anything except the ear loops. Put them in wrapping that can be closed quickly and carefully and disposed appropriately.(eg an aircraft sick bag if you are inflight) Wash hands !! (or clean with antibacterial wipe)
- When to use masks? – only in the presence of an unwell person or in crowded indoor situation with no escape
Infection during flights could occur if a person who is clearly unwell is seated within two seats proximity. Passengers should try to move to another seat but if this is impossible, a mask (N95) can be worn.