Show some concern on H1N1
The dreaded swine flu is once again making headlines in Kashmir and the people have once again fearing an outbreak. As the deaths are increasing in number with every passing day, the people here have become all the more scary about any possible outbreak.
With two persons infected with swine flu virus succumbing at SMHS hospital here, the death toll so far this season due to H1N1 has reached to 11. There is also one patient admitted to the hospital with the H3N2 virus.
Notably, the number of patients infected this season has risen in number. A total of 50 patients were admitted in SMHS hospital and 42 were discharged and presently 8 are undergoing treatment.
Swine flu, also known as H1N1 virus is a contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract that spreads from person to person through the inhalation of respiratory droplets. Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and body aches.
The elderly, children under the age of five years, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions are prone to develop serious complications from the flu and medicos are advising extreme precaution to stay away from getting infected.
However, what is worrying is the fact the government and more so, the state’s health department is playing ostrich to this deadly viral intrusion. According to various sources more than 130 patients have been found infected by the virus this season and so far the government is not willing to admit that the higher incidence and prevalence of the virus needs to be taken seriously.
WE have been witnessing increased incidence of H1N1 virus since the past many years now. Every year the number of infected persons grows and this season more than 130 pople have been tested positive and even treated at various government hospitals.
But what is concerning is the governments lackadaisical attitude over this growing phenomenon. The government’s health department shows no concern to aware the people about the spread of this virus and no effort is being spared to get the people vaccinated.
The anti flu vaccines are costly and a dose that one has to take to be protected for one season can go upto 1500 Rupees, which of course is a costly preposition for any one here. Even if the highly vulnerable groups like the children, elderly or those with some health conditions are vaccinated in every family the cost can run upto thousands, which seems highly unaffordable.
The least the government could have done was to provide free swine flu vaccine to high-risk groups like elderly, children younger than 5 years of age, pregnant women and persons with medical conditions.
Free vaccination will increase vaccine uptake that would protect these vulnerable individuals from getting killed. Besides, the vaccines should also be kept available at subsidized rates also so that every individual can avail the facilities and get vaccinated well ahead of the winter season when the virus gets more active and deadly.