CHITWAN, Oct 16: Amid reports of swine flu cases in Kathmandu and Chitwan districts, doctors have asked people to take precautionary measures while traveling.
As people travel to their home districts in droves for Dashain festival, doctors fear that swine flu may spread easily to the masses if those who have acquired the flu travel without taking precautionary measures. They also worry that swine flu may take a deadly form if it got mixed with other viruses.
The doctors have asked people not to be careless about even milder fever symptoms.
“If you have caught fever, even a mild one, avoid traveling,” said Dr Bhojraj Adhikari, a physician at Bharatpur Hospital. “If you can´t avoid traveling, put on anti-viral masks.” According to Dr Adhikari, a swine flu patient who travels not only poses the risk of infecting other people but also takes longer to recover.
Chances of swine flu infection are very high during festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhat as many people come in close contact to each other on these occasions. During last year´s Dashain festival, too, the swine flu infection was very high.
Dr Arun Sedhai, who works at Chitwan Medical College, says that people must be extra-careful about what they eat during Dashain festival. “The children must avoid enjoying a swing in the sun.”
Recently, out of 32 people, whose blood samples were tested by a joint team of World Health Organization (WHO) and Epidemiology and Disease Control Department in Chitwan district, 10 were found to be infected with flu.
Of them, two were infected with H1N1 strain of swine flu, while six were infected with Influenza B, which is similar in nature to swine flu. And, two people were found to be infected with leptospirosis viruses.
As of September, after the onset of this year´s monsoon, 13 people have died of flu and fever at various hospitals of Chitwan district. Although the latest resurgence of flu and fever appeared to be contained by now, still doctors warn that people´s negligence could lead to another bout of spread.