After the sudden spurt of swine flu cases in Hyderabad, both government and private health experts have advised high-risk category people to go in for trivalent flu vaccine shots as a preventive measure.
The city reported more than 30 positive cases, including six deaths in December and two fresh positive cases on the first day of the New Year on Thursday.
AdvertisementThe high-risk groups likely to be susceptible to H1N1 include diabetics, post transplant patients, chronic kidney patients, children below 5 years and elderly above 60 years and pregnant and post-partum women.
"As a preventive measure, those suffering from chronic diseases, including pregnant women, take flu vaccines as they are considered vulnerable to H1N1 virus. However, not everybody needs it," said Dr. P. Sambasiva Rao, director of health, Telangana.
Dr. Rao said that the situation is under control. "People will have to buy the trivalent flu vaccines in the market as the health department does not provide the same since the flu has not reached an epidemic level," he added.
At present, the trivalent vaccine available in the market is effective against three strains of flu virus accountable for causing both H1N1 and the seasonal flu (H3N2 strain).
"The high risk group should opt for trivalent vaccine as they have been found effective against both H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, but for one year only," said Dr Harikishan Boorugu, senior consultant physician at Apollo Hospitals. Dr Boorugu added that trivalent vaccines available in the market are in the range of Rs 500-Rs 600.
Health experts also strongly feel, to be on the safe side, that foreign nationals planning to travel to the city should also get flu vaccine shots, especially those who would need to stay in crowded places even for a brief period.