Dimapur: The Nagaland health and family welfare department on Tuesday said, as per the available data, there are 723 reported cases of acute respiratory infections or influenza-like illnesses and 37 cases of severe acute respiratory infections in the state.

However, it said these reported cases have not been laboratory confirmed.

The department said it is keeping a close watch on all hospital admissions with breathing difficulties. It added the state has not reported any confirmed cases of Covid-19 for the last five weeks. The last reported case of Covid-19 was on February 11.

The department said its integrated disease surveillance programme is undertaking real-time surveillance of cases of influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infections.

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Following the rising trend in influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory illnesses, commonly referred to as seasonal flu, in the country, including Nagaland, the department issued guidelines to limit the transmission of these diseases.

The department said inadequate attention to personal hygiene, sneezing and coughing without protection in close proximity of other people, closed-door gatherings, etc., contribute to increased transmission of viral respiratory pathogens like Influenza A (H1N1, H3N2, etc.) including Covid-19.

While most of these pathogens typically cause mild and often self-limiting illness manifesting as acute respiratory infection with fever and cough, in some cases, particularly amongst young children, old age people, people with obesity and other co-morbidities like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic renal and liver disease well as pregnant women may suffer from a more severe manifestation of these diseases requiring hospitalisation, it said.

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To limit transmission of these diseases, the department urged people to cover their mouth and nose with tissue, handkerchief or elbow when coughing or sneezing, avoid spitting in public places, use masks in crowded environments and wash their hands frequently.

It also asked the people for early reporting of symptoms to healthcare workers to initiate early care and treatment and limit contact with those who are suffering from respiratory illness.

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