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.
The 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.