KATHMANDU: Almost simultaneously with the ongoing rainy season the instances of seasonal flu are also on the rise. Many people are suffering from respiratory hazards due to influenza virus.
In this context Khabarhub’s Bina Neupane talked to General Physician Dr UN Pathak to discuss about the causes, the symptoms, preventive measures and the treatment against influenza.
Here are the excerpt of the interview:
What type of hazard is this seasonal flu?
It is now transmitted by a viral infection. It has fever, runny nose and sneezing. Now the fourth wave of the corona pandemic seems sharing similar symptoms to some extent.
When these two come at the same time, the patient and the doctor are also confused. If the nose is watery. The symptoms like sneezing, body ache, and fatigue are the symptoms of seasonal flu.
This symptom is not often seen in coronavirus, so we consider this the convenient way to distinguish between these two.
How to find out whether one is suffering from corona or seasonal flu by staying at home?
Runny nose and sneezing usually does not occur in corona. Fever is high in coronavirus cases. Coronavirus can also cause diarrhea.
That’s why when patients with high fever, and body pain come, we test them for coronavirus. If someone has a fever of more than 103 degrees for three consecutive days and has fatigue and respiratory hazards, I would like to request them to consult their doctor and get tested for the coronavirus. In case of common cold if you rest for three days in it will be fine.
What has made the people vulnerable to seasonal flu?
The pollution is spreading a lot this summer. This has made all vulnerable to the seasonal flue. Therefore, if you have to go outside, wear a mask, and after returning home, it is better to rinse with normal warm water with salt.
How can one treat this problem at home?
Special care should be taken if the seasonal flu patient already has diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and reduced immunity. You should come to the hospital and consult a doctor.
If these other diseases are not present, it is better to keep such a patient at home and let them take rest for 24 to 72 hours.
What kind of situation should we go to the hospital?
If someone already has diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and reduced immunity, or if someone is pregnant then that patient should go to the hospital and consult a doctor. But people who do not have these problems should rest at home for 72 hours.
People often say there is no treatment for seasonal flu. What is its reality?
This is an anti-vaccine against seasonal flu bacteria, it has an anti-viral tablet, but it is expensive, so it is not available in countries like ours.
It is not necessary to give this vaccine or tablets to those who have this seasonal flu. It is cured by immunity in 80 to 90 percent of people. If there is no fever more than 103 degree Fahrenheit for 3 days, there is no fatigue, if you are not sick, do not panic, it will get better in a while.
We give influenza vaccines to asthma patients. It has benefited many people. Therefore, it is better to take the annual influenza vaccine for patients with asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. In many places, the pneumococcal vaccine is also used every 4 years to 5 years, it protects against pneumonia.
Can anyone get this influenza vaccine?
It is just like any other vaccine. It is expensive. Somewhere it is Rs 1800, somewhere it is up to Rs 2000. It is better for the people who have asthma, diabetes, and heart disease to administer it. Influenza vaccine should be given every year and the pneumococcal vaccine can be administered in 4-5 years.
If you don’t go to the hospital in time, what are the risks?
Those who have low immunity do not get healed quickly. It has a variant period. If someone gets a superimposed infection, their cough will be yellow; someone will get sick due to pneumonia, if that happens too much, or if a person has ALDS or a severe infection, the infection might reach to blood and might cause septic will go to the blood and go to septic sinusitis and septic soft. It is found in a few people.
If the patient above 80 years neglects such symptoms, the flu might be fatal.
What kind of food should be eaten in it?
You should eat plain and warm food, do not eat food that has been kept in the refrigerator for a long time, and do not take cold drinks or ice cream.
If someone in the family is infected, that person should be isolated for 24 to 72 hours. And if this happens to someone outside, one should stay away from home.
There is a chance of some viral infection even if the food kept in the refrigerator is kept outside and then heated. Do not feed such food to patients with such problems.
What should one do for a speedy recovery from seasonal flu?
If there is no other problem, it will heal quickly if you just get enough rest.
What should one pay attention to so that this does not get transmitted?
Do not come into contact with people who have this problem. Stay inside. Even if you want to go out, go in the morning and evening only. Rinse with salt in lukewarm water and eat fresh and take food when it is still warm. Do not take medicines haphazardly.
Finally, what else do you suggest?
Don’t be afraid of the flu. If you are very tired, take a rest. Take medicine by consulting a doctor. Test yourself against coronavirus even if you are vaccinated against COVID-19.