ibnlive » Health

Apr 16, 2012 at 02:34pm IST

How to protect yourself from swine flu

New Delhi: Swine flu has spread across the country with hundreds of cases being reported. By far, 689 cases of H1N1 have been reported from 11 States so far. Given the rising concerns, here are some steps to protect yourself from swine flu.

- Avoid crowded places and if that is not possible, practise good hand hygiene. Frequent hand-washing will go a long way.

If you've been in contact with someone who has the flu, or feel the symptoms yourself, do not ignore breathlessness or breathing problems, especially with high fever. See a doctor with your concerns. You could ask to be tested for H1N1. Testing is free in all government earmarked hospitals and there is no need to panic because experts say there is no way that the H1N1 virus is as virulent as it was back in 2009.

"People are aware, most people have been vaccinated. Immunity is higher than before, so there is no need to panic," Dr Manas Chatterjee says.

- Most complications with swine flu occur in high risk groups, that is, the elderly, children, or people with any chronic ailment like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, kidney disease.

- People in the high risk category need to be extra careful and alert of any flu-like symptoms, and not delay reporting to the doctor.

- Vaccination is also specially advised for the high risk groups. There are two vaccines available for H1N1. Ask your doctor as to which one is best suited for you.

Dr Chatterjee advises, "Don't ignore flu-like symptoms."

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