Fear of A(H1N1) is media generated, says expert

Fear of A(H1N1) is media generated, says expert

Delivering a talk on the H1N1 viral infection at the SDM College of Business Management, organised by the Mangalore Management Association, he said that wearing masks while walking on the streets is absolutely of no use and that only the patients and the people who tend to them need to wear masks. “With good food and keeping the surroundings clean, you can protect yourself from all kinds of influenza,” he added. Speaking on the history of the disease, he said that the influenza (formerly known as Swine Flu), was found among pigs and people who rear them usually. It occurs once in a century.

Actually, an occurance of Swine Flu has been recorded in 1933. However, this year, the virus has started spreading among humans and is no more called Swine Flu as the pig farmers have objected to it.

Low death rate

More than 350 people have been infected by the virus in Karnataka while the death rate is only 20. In India, 80 people have succumbed to the disease. But it has been noted that the deaths were not entirely due to A (H1N1), but factors like diabetes and heart problems have contributed to it, Dr Rao said and added that the death rate is very low considering the extent of infection.

Isolation needed

The patients should be isolated preferably at home to prevent the disease from spreading. Visitors should be restricted and the patients should cover their faces somehow if they sneeze. The virus spreads in a one metre radius and can stay on inanimate objects for upto an hour. Hence, the medical and paramedical staff who deal with the patients should wear gloves and masks and wash their hands in soap or alcohol occasionally. The infective period of the virus is upto 10 days, after which the patient can be allowed to come out of isolation, Dr Rao explained.

Mangalore Management Association President M Shekhara Pujari, Vice President T G Shenoy, Secretary U Rama Rao, SDM College Principal Dr Devaraj K and others were present on the occasion.

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