Swine flu season is back and this time it’s the doctors who are falling victim to the dreaded H1N1 virus. Five docs in Chandigarh’s Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 were confirmed to be H1N1 positive. Though all of them were discharged and the flu was managed on time, this incident indicates that the virus is back. About 25 people have tested positive for the disease since January. All the doctors were quarantined in their houses for the last one week and their families were also given medications. The affected docs were posted in different departments.

It seems like swine flu season is back. Last year swine flu affected various states throughout the country including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. We hope that it won’t be like last time where the virus completely caught the authorities unaware. Reports suggest that the virus could have been worse than reported and people  

 Simply covering your mouth while sneezing or coughing may not be enough to stop the flu from spreading. Research at the University of Arizona has revealed that some of surfaces like coffee, pot handles, tabletops, doorknobs and phones that can remain infected for hours.

Prevention

Swine flu isn’t a disease that you can catch from pigs. It is in fact, a human virus that spreads from one human to another. The virus is extremely contagious. Here are some swine flu prevention tips: 

  • It can spread through coughing and sneezing so always cover your face while doing so. And make sure people around you in office or home also follow this.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth too often
  • Maintain a high level of personal hygiene. Always wash your hands before or after eating and particularly after returning from a public place.
  • Sometimes virus can spread through droplets that have remained on surfaces of things like laptops, phones so avoid using someone else’s items.
  • Avoid public places, unhygienic conditions, etc.
  • If your city/area is swine-flu endemic, always wear a standard swine flu mask  in public places (the H-95 mask which is worn by nurses and doctors while collecting samples from swine flu victims). Normal surgical masks which sell like hot cakes during swine flu season might not give enough protection.
  • If you feel sick and look like you are developing a cold or fever, stay at home and take enough rest. Rest has also been shown to increase ‘interferons’ which help our immunity to fight the virus better. Keeping away from others also prevents spread of the infection.