Seasonal Influenza in Pakistan: How to stay safe?

Seasonal influenza viruses may present with mild symptoms but may progress to severe illness, says the advisory

By
APP
Masked people walk in a market amid the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. — AFP/File
Masked people walk in a market amid the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. — AFP/File 

In view of the rising cases of flu in the country, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Thursday issued an advisory on the prevention and control of seasonal Influenza.

In a statement, the NIH said that flu cases usually increase in Pakistan from December to February as temperature falls during the winter season.

The NIH said that the objective of this advisory is to alert and facilitate the health authorities and other stakeholders to ensure timely preventive and control measures.

These measures include preparedness to deal with the increased workload expected in the outpatient and in-patient departments during the next few months.

According to the advisory, seasonal influenza viruses may present with mild symptoms but may progress to severe illness, particularly in high-risk individuals.

Patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, cardiac and lung diseases, pregnant women, elderly people, and children under five years are at higher risk of developing severe or complicated disease.

Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection and severe outcomes caused by influenza viruses, particularly in high-risk groups.

Influenza can spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing or can contaminate hands or other surfaces.

The advisory emphasised that if someone is sick or has been in close contact with persons having a flu-like illness, preventive measures have been recommended for limiting Influenza transmission.

These preventive measures include frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water and the use of hand sanitizer when away from the hand washing facility.

Other measures are also important like covering mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.

Sick patients have been advised to take rest and avoid crowds besides taking social distancing measures.