Do not ignore cough and cold, it could be swine flu: Doctors

Jul 20, 2012, 07:43 IST | Neha Taneja

Citing the rising number of swine flu (H1N1) cases in the state, Pune doctors have warned people to be cautious and not to overlook any signs of extreme cough and cold.

Although swine flu is no longer pandemic, and surfaces as just another seasonal flu, doctors have advised seeking medical help for any kind of flu that does not get cured even after two to three days of routine treatment.

About 357 H1N1 cases have been recorded across the state since April and 70 of these were detected this month alone. “During the outbreak of swine flu in 2009-10, it was pandemic. The rise in swine flu cases around PMC and PCMC area can be attributed to the weather change, and is sporadic.

As per centre’s guidelines, we have provided vaccines to doctors, medical and paramedical staff handling swine flu cases, so that they do not contract the flu. But mass vaccination is not recommended,” swine flu in-charge at Maharashtra Health Direc-torate Dr Pradeep Awate said.

He said that people suffering from tuberculosis, diabetes, hypertension, HIV, cardiovascular ailments and upper respiratory problems, must take extra precaution and get vaccinated. Dr Awate requested people that they should not resort to self-medication. He pointed out that patients often overlook the seasonal flu, which could be swine flu.

“People don’t take symptoms like cough, cold or sore throat seriously and hesitate to visit a physician, which add to the woes. Its better to be safe than sorry,” Dr Awate said. PMC’s assistant medical officer for health Dr Shyam Satpute said swine flu patients should be quarantined for at least four to five days. 

“Not just prolonged fever, but cases of extreme cold and cough also should be checked. People should be careful as upper respiratory ailments could worsen and make them susceptible to the virus.” Dr Satpute said. Since April, 17 patients had died of swine flu of which nine were from Pune. On July 11, Harish Chandra Lonkar (55) from Phursungi died in KEM Hospital in Mumbai. He was admitted to the hospital on July 5 and had tested positive for swine flu on July 9.

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