The health department of Pune, India has sounded the swine flu alert following two deaths in the state in the last few days.
The department has asked district health officers and civil surgeons to step up surveillance and take all preventive measures in view of many religious fairs that are held during this time of the year in a large number of villages across the southern Indian state of Maharashtra.
Sources said that the health officials of Pune and Nagpur have been specially asked to keep all medical facilities ready to tackle the swine flu menace, as a surge in cases is expected following a sharp drop in temperatures.
AdvertisementMeanwhile, state media on Tuesday reported that cases of fresh swine flu infection had been detected in the state.
"Two people - one from the city and another from a rural part - have succumbed to the infection. The prevailing chill in the state is conducive for the swine flu virus. Besides, this is the time of the year when people throng the annual religious festivals that are held in the rural parts of the state and the swine flu infection, which is air-borne and contagious, can spread in such public gatherings," TOI quoted a department official as saying.
The health department issued a letter last Monday directing all health officials to keep a vigil on suspected cases and stay alert.
"Civil surgeons of all districts have been directed to keep state-run healthcare medical facilities ready with required medical supplies to promptly treat infected patients. Besides, civic medical officers have been directed to keep their hospitals ready and ensure that the intensive care units in their jurisdictions are fully functional. Health officials have also been told to conduct training of their staff in operating ventilators and convene meetings of all healthcare professionals to keep them abreast with the current swine flu situation in the state," the official explained.
Top Ways to Prevent Swine Flu
- Keep your hands clean. Wash them often, in hot soapy water.
- Get enough sleep. One should get 8 hours of good rest each night to keep the immune system in top flu-fighting shape.
- Drink eight to 10 glasses of water each day to flush toxins from your system and maintain good moisture and mucous production in your sinuses.
- Eat immune-boosting foods. Fatty foods can slow your metabolism. So stick with whole grains,colorful vegetables, and vitamin-rich fruits.
- In addition to being a mood depressant, alcohol is an immune suppressant that can actually decrease your resistance to viral infections like swine flu. So, avoid alcoholic beverages to keep your immune system strong.
- Mild to moderate exercise-for example brisk walking for 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week- supports the immune system. Also, the benefits of regular physical exercise is hard to ignore.
- Avoid contact with sick people. Flu virus is spread when particles dispersed into the air through a cough or sneeze reaches someone else's nose. So if you're coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and then wash your hands. If you have to be around someone who is sick, try to stay a few feet away from them and avoid physical contact.
- Swine flu can look like regular flu. So don't feel like you necessarily are infected if you're exhibiting flu-like symptoms. But do go to your doctor if you live in an area where there are documented cases, or if your symptoms are severe.