Take vaccines to avoid flu

Viral infection affects nose, throat and bronchi

Even as influenza vaccination is less than two percent, hospitalization due to pneumonia and brain fever is around 50 percent every year.

There were 28,000 cases of swine flu in the country last year, of which five percent led to severe pneumonia conditions due to which vaccines are being suggested but there have not been many takers.

Experts state that epidemics during a change of seasons are becoming turning rampant leading to debilitating diseases and complications, which require hospitalization.

Vaccines are the best preventive measures. It is time the Centre makes vaccine mandatory in order to protect children and senior citizens.

Most influenza patients do not require medical treatment and recover within one to two weeks. But the infection in children, senior citizens, and pregnant women leads to severe complications. It has been found that 90 percent of influenza-related deaths occur in the senior citizen’s category in the country.

Dr Syamala Aiyanger, senior consultant physician at Apollo Hospitals explained, “India is bound to have high numbers of influenza cases due to the large urban spaces that we now have. Seasonal flu cases are rising due to constant travel within the country and also outside from where different flu viruses are attacking when temperatures dip.”

The flu season is seen from October to February in South India and it peaks in December and January every year.

Dr V.V. Ramana Prasad, consultant pulmonologist at KIMS Hospital, explained, “In the last two years we are seeing sudden changes in climate conditions. This is also found to activate flu virus, which survives in low-temperatures and whenever there is a dip in weather.”

The efficacy of flu virus has been stated to be around 60 to 70 percent. This means that senior citizens, who are given the flu vaccine, must-visit hospitals when they develop cold, cough and flu-like symptoms.

The vaccine is not a complete

  • MOST INFLUENZA patients do not require medical treatment and recover within one to two weeks. But the infection in children, senior citizens and pregnant women leads to severe complications.
  • IT HAS been found that 90 percent of influenza-related deaths occur in the senior citizen’s category in the country.

protection. Dr Anjul Dayal, senior consultant paediatric intensivist at Continental Hospital explained, “The flu burden is very high in winter with 60 per cent of the patients being seen in clinics and 40 per cent requiring hospitalisation every year. They have severe pneumonia and brain fever due to the virus. A quadrivalent influenza vaccine is found to have two subtypes H1N1, H2N3 and two other variants of the virus.”

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