Mass public campaign sought to tackle seasonal influenza

KARACHI: Pakistan Medical Association (PMA)on Tuesday expressed concern over the deaths of 12 patients due to seasonal influenza in Multan and other parts of Punjab.

This disease is caused by influenza virus, fever, sour throat, flue, head ache, body ache, and cough. The upper respiratory tract infection is the symptoms of the disease. If these symptoms are not treated properly this can lead to lower tract infection, laryngitis, bronchitis, lungs infection and pneumonia, which could become fatal for the patients.

Influenza is a viral disease and it could spread from one person to other. The following pre-cautionary measures should be taken by the general public to avoid complications.

People should take fresh healthy and balanced diet, take 7-8 hour sleep, take plenty of water, complete bed rest, use tissue papers to clean your nose, do not hug or shake hand with others and do not share your glass, plate, cup, towel, mobile etc, if you are suffering from cold or flu, do not involve in self-medication practice, antibiotic should not be used in any viral disease and people should get treatment only from qualified doctors.

PMA suggests that the government should start a massive public awareness campaign in this regard. Patients suffering from influenza should be kept in isolation wards. Provide clean and safe portable water to the patients and their attendants.

The government should adopt strict preventive measures to stop spreading the viral disease in other parts of the country. Kits to diagnose the influenza virus should be available at hospitals.

PMA reiterates that virology labs should be established at least at all provincial capitals so that viral diseases like swine flu, dengue, chikungunya, zika virus and Congo virus, can be diagnosed promptly.