The pandemic strain of Swine flu (also called H1N1 influenza virus) has already traveled to Bangladesh. Till date, 8 cases have been detected in the country. The last patient, who was identified Thursday as the country’s first domestic transmission of the swine flu, was believed to be infected by his friend. This domestic transmission of swine flu in the country has created panic among general population. Experts urged people not to be panicked over swine flu’s spread and advised to take precautionary steps to be protected.
The main route of transmission of the new influenza A (H1N1) virus seems to be similar to seasonal influenza, via droplets that are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing. You can prevent getting infected by avoiding close contact with people who show influenza-like symptoms (trying to maintain a distance of about 1 metre if possible) and taking the following measures recommended by WHO:
* avoid touching your mouth and nose;
* clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated);
* avoid close contact with people who might be ill;
* reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible;
* improve airflow in your living space by opening windows;
* practise good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.
If you feel unwell, have high fever, cough or sore throat:
* stay at home and keep away from work, school or crowds;
* rest and take plenty of fluids;
* cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and, if using tissues, make sure you dispose of them carefully. Clean your hands immediately after with soap and water or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub;
* if you do not have a tissue close by when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth as much as possible with the crook of your elbow;
* use a mask to help you contain the spread of droplets when you are around others, but be sure to do so correctly;
* inform family and friends and health professional about your illness and try to avoid contact with other people;
A person should seek immediate medical care if they experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or if a fever continues more than three days. For parents with a young child who is ill, seek medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing, continuing fever or convulsions (seizures).
Source: The Daily Star, June 27, 2009