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January 13, 2020

PMA concerned over growing influenza cases, demands establishment of virology lab

Karachi

January 13, 2020

Expressing serious concern over increasing flu and influenza cases in Sindh, particularly in Karachi, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has urged the common people to take precautionary measures to prevent themselves from contracting the seasonal viral infection and asked the authorities to start a massive public awareness campaign in this regard.

“We suggest that the government should launch a massive public awareness campaign regarding the recent flu outbreak in the city, while patients suffering from influenza should be kept in isolation wards. At the hospitals, clean and safe portable water should be provided to the patients and their attendants,” said Dr Qaiser Sajjad, secretary general of the PMA in a recent statement.

He maintained that in response to growing influenza cases in the province, the government should adopt strict preventive measures to stop the viral disease from spreading to other parts of the country. Kits to diagnose the influenza virus should be available at hospitals’ laboratories, he said.

“The PMA also reiterates that virology labs should be established at least at all provincial capitals so that viral diseases like swine flu, dengue, chikungunya, zika virus, congo virus and other viruses can be diagnosed promptly.”

Dr Sajjad, an ENT specialist himself, explained that the disease was caused by the influenza virus and the most common symptoms are fever, sour throat, flu, headache, body ache, cough, and maybe productive and upper respiratory tract infection.

“The important point to be noted is that if these symptoms are not treated properly, this can lead to lower respiratory tract infection, laryngitis, bronchitis, lungs infection and finally pneumonia, which could become fatal for the patients.”

Maintaining that influenza could spread from one person to other, Dr Sajjad suggested people should take fresh, healthy and balanced diet, take seven-eight hours of night sleep, take plenty of water, complete bed rest if suffering from influenza virus and use tissue papers to clean your nose.

“If you are suffering from cold or flu, do not hug or shake hands with others and do not share your paraphernalia like glass, plate, cup, towel, mobile, pen etc. Do not involve in self-medication while antibiotic should not be used in any viral disease,” he said, adding that people should get treatment only from qualified doctors.