Swine flu: DAK issues advisory

Swine flu: DAK issues advisory

Doctors Association Kashmir today said the swine flu has again surfaced in the state with five people in Jammu being tested positive for H1N1.

The DAK urged the people to get vaccinated to protect themselves from getting flu.

President DAK and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said that annual flu vaccine would protect people from flu-related complications, hospitalization and death.

“Everyone 6 months and old should get a flu shot. And, now is the time to get the vaccine,” he in a statement said.

Dr Nisar said, this year’s flu vaccine has been updated and contains protection against mutated swine flu strain along with several other strains.

“We have a new strain of virus in circulation, called Michigan strain that has replaced earlier California strain which was circulating since pandemic 2009,” he said.

“While vaccine is recommended for all,” he said, “it is especially needed in too young, old, pregnant and people with medical conditions.”

Children 6 months through 8 years need two doses, one month apart to be fully protected, he said.

Dr Nisar said only injectables are recommended this season, “as nasal spray vaccine, popular among children is not recommended for use as it was found to be ineffective.”

“Flu jabs protect pregnant women, their unborn babies and their newborn babies up to 6 months after they are born which is important as infants up to 6 months are too young to receive the vaccine”, Dr Nisar said.

“Healthcare workers should be compulsorily vaccinated to ensure safety of patients”, he said.

To mention, 25,864 cases of swine flu were reported across the country so far this year which is over 14 times what we witnessed in 2016. While 265 persons died due to H1N1 last year, this year so far 1100 persons have died, the statement said.