In view of surge in Influenza like Illnesses (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illnesses (SARI), commonly called seasonal flu, across the country including Nagaland, the state’s Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) department has urged the public to take precautions and curb its transmission.
‘As per the data available, there are 723 reported cases of Acute Respiratory Infections/ILI and 37 cases of SARI in the state. But these reported cases have not been laboratory confirmed,’ read an update from Dr. Vibeituonuo M Sachu, Principal Director, Directorate of H&FW.
Through its Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP/IHIP), the Health department is undertaking real-time surveillance of ILI and SARI cases, said the update, adding that it is also keeping a close watch on all hospital admissions with breathing difficulties.
Dr. Nyan Kikon, State Nodal Officer for Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), told Eastern Mirror that seasonal flu can occur anytime and it is not something new.
We cannot say when seasonal flu is most common these days, as climate is changing with rainy reason arriving early, he said, adding that it is usually occurs when season changes and when weather is cold.
The official informed that the seasonal flu cases are expected to decline by the end of March. However, he clarified that it is scientifically unpredictable when exactly it will go down.
Meanwhile the Health department said that inadequate attention to personal hygiene, sneezing and coughing without protection in close proximity of other people, closed door gathering, etc., contribute to increased transmission of viral respiratory pathogens like Influenza A (H1N1, H3N2, etc.) including COVID-19, which has not been reported in the state since February 11 this year (five weeks).
“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, etc.) as well as pregnant women may suffer from more severe manifestation of these diseases requiring hospitalisation,” read the update.
To limit transmission of these diseases, the department advised the public to maintain respiratory and hand hygiene, early reporting of symptoms to health care workers to initiate early care and treatment and limiting contact of those people who are suffering from respiratory illness.
Do’s and don’ts for prevention and control
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Wear masks and avoid crowded places.
- Cover mouth & nose while sneezing
- Avoid touching eyes and nose.
- Take plenty of fluids
- Take Paracetamol for fever and bodyache.
- Shake hands or use contact greetings.
- Spit in public.
- Take antibiotics or other medicines without consulting a doctor.
- Eat together sitting close to others.