Srinagar, Mar 12: As the H3N2 flu virus continues to spread across the country, doctors are warning parents to exercise caution while sending their children to school.
The doctors said the parents should avoid sending kids to the schools in case they observe respiratory ailments in them while urging the school managements to avoid clustering of the students in the campuses. Head Department of Community Medicine at Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, Dr Muhammad Salim Khan said the general guidelines for the parents was to keep an eye on their children and avoid sending them to schools in case they develop any symptoms of respiratory ailments.
“In case any symptoms are found in children, they should be kept in isolation and parents should inform the schools accordingly,” he said.
He, however, said that H3N2 was a seasonal flu and will be over by March ending. “But schools have reopened and the campuses will have a rush of students for which the school managements have to take extra precautions to avoid spread of the virus. The schools should avoid clustering of students,” Dr Muhammad Salim Khan said, adding that the flu takes around 3 days to one week to recover fully.
The spokesperson of the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) Dr Mir Mushtaq while stressing on taking preventive measures in schools said that the precautionary measures for respiratory infections were universally the same.
“Besides adopting preventive measures at homes, it is necessary that the school teachers teach spitting and coughing etiquettes to the students. The schools should maintain hand hygiene of the students and avoid assembling the students,” he said, adding that there was nothing to panic about but parents need to keep an eye on their kids.
He said there were no H3N2 cases reported in Kashmir earlier but the situation changed over the past few days as cases are being reported in the Valley as well.
“Also, the schools reopened a few days ago and we will definitely issue an advisory for schools regarding Dos and Don’ts,” he said. As the flu season continues, the health department will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide guidance to parents on how best to protect their children from the H3N2 virus.
“We have already started public awareness programmes wherein we are using different media platforms to generate awareness among masses,” the DHSK spokesman said.