ISLAMABAD: Keeping in the reports of swine flu cases in different parts of the country in view, health experts on Sunday advised citizens to take special precautionary measures to protect themselves from the virus.
Medical expert Dr Wasim Khawaja from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) advised that if one experiences a case of long coughing with flu and fever, and the symptoms remain unchanged, patients should immediately visit hospitals for medical tests of flu.
He said that swine flu symptoms start showing after five to six days of a person contracting the virus. During a period of first seven days, a positive swine flu patient will transmit the virus to others.
He urged for taking preventive measures for prevention from swine flu.
He said that pregnant women, elders, very young, overweight, immune compromised and people with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes, cardiac and lungs diseases are at high-risk for developing complications due to H1N1 infection or swine flu.
Dr Khawaja said if someone is sick or have been in close contact with persons having a flu-like illness, preventing measures are needed for limiting the H1N1 transmission.
He said that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection and severe outcomes caused by influenza viruses, particularly in high-risk groups.
He said that WHO recommends seasonal influenza vaccination for pregnant women, children aged 6-9 months, elderly people, individuals with chronic medical conditions and health-care workers.
Dr Sharif Astori from Federal Government Poly Clinic (FGPC) urged frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water or hand sanitizer, avoid touching nose, mouth or eyes as the virus survives on common surfaces, etc.
He advised patients to take rest, avoid crowds and take other social distancing measures. Staying home for young children from school if he or she is sick and avoid mixing and playing with other children.
He said that the patient also has to cover mouth and nose and avoid contaminating hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue.