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National

January 12, 2018

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Seasonal flu virus present in Rawalpindi

Seasonal flu virus present in Rawalpindi

Rawalpindi: The virus of influenza A H1N1, commonly called as seasonal flu is present in the environment of town as two patients belonging to Rawalpindi have been confirmed positive for the infection here at Holy Family Hospital.

Data collected by ‘The News’ on Thursday has revealed that both the two patients confirmed positive for seasonal flu at HFH achieved complete cure however another confirmed patient of the infection who was taken to the HFH from Kohat with respiratory failure expired here at the hospital.

At present, as many as three suspected patients of seasonal flu are undergoing treatment in Department of Infectious Diseases (DID) at the HFH and the hospital has sent their samples

for confirmatory tests to National Institute of Health Islamabad, said Head of DID Dr. Muhammad Mujeeb Khan while talking to ‘The News’ on Thursday.

He, like many other health experts, said that the confirmation of infection among native residents of town confirmed the presence of seasonal flu virus in the environment however the situation is not alarming.

A good number of patients reported at public and private sector healthcare facilities might be infected with seasonal flu without knowing it and they got cure because in majority of cases, the infection is self limiting, explained Dr. Mujeeb.

Studies reveal that influenza A H1N1 is an acute respiratory infection with varying severity ranging from asymptomatic, much mild to fatal disease as in severe cases, the patients suffer from pneumonia and respiratory failure.

It is important that the illness caused by seasonal flu tends to be much severe in the elderly, in infants and children along with those whose immunity is being compromised due to chronic diseases like diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, heart disease or any other infection.

To a query, Dr. Mujeeb said it is hardly possible to collect exact data regarding number of patients of seasonal flu in a town as majority of patients suffering from sore throat, cough and flu like problems visit general practitioners and rarely report at public sector tertiary care hospitals.

Also a good number of patients opt for home remedies and it is good if they do not develop any complications, he said. According to WHO, typical influenza symptoms include fever with abrupt onset, chills, sore throat, non-productive cough and often accompanied by headache, coryza (Inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nasal cavity, usually causing a running nose, nasal congestion and loss of smell), myalgia (muscular pains) and prostration.  

Complications of influenza viral infection include primary influenza viral pneumonitis, bacterial pneumonia, otitis media (inflammatory diseases of the middle ear) and exacerbation of underlying chronic conditions. Death resulting from seasonal influenza occurs mainly in the elderly and in individuals with pre-existing chronic diseases.

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