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'Influenza vaccination' best method for preventing seasonal flu: Experts.

ISLAMABAD -- Health experts on Sunday suggested to citizens that an influenza vaccination is the best method for preventing seasonal flu, as influenza-related deaths are rising globally.

Professor of Medicine Dr Khalid Mehmood in an interview said 'Influenza vaccination is also strongly recommended by World Health Organization on a yearly basis', according to a report aired by a private news channel.

A rapid spread in flu cases is being seen this season worldwide, including in Pakistan, where influenza type A and B are topping the doctors charts, he added.

Specialist said, the number of cases are increasing everyday and some of the patients develop complications, including pneumonia.

'Prevention is the key, Dr noted, and taking the flu vaccination before the fall season is crucial.

'The number of cases would have decreased if people had taken their vaccinations at the right time, he mentioned.

He said children, pregnant women and chronic lung and heart disease patients are most vulnerable during the season of cooler weather.

Doctor further said there are four types of seasonal influenza viruses, types A, B, C and D, of which influenza A and B viruses circulate and cause seasonal epidemics of disease.

He confirmed that people should consider influenza vaccines to protect themselves, even if the vaccine is not closely related to the predominant circulating virus at moment.

Specialist in Respiratory Medicine, Dr Ashraf also said seasonal influenza vaccines include several different influenza viruses, even if one of the viruses is not closely related, the other viruses in the vaccine are likely to be closely related and therefore offer good protection.

In addition to vaccines doctors recommended other personal protective measures against influenza should also include regular hand washing with proper drying of the hands, good respiratory hygiene such as covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, early self-isolation of those feel unwell, feverish or having other symptoms of influenza, and avoiding close contact with sick people.

He added this disease is caused by Influenza Virus, fever, sour throat, flue, headache, body ache, cough, may be productive, and upper respiratory tract infection are the symptoms of the disease.

He said that if these symptoms are not treated properly this can lead to lower tract infection, laryngitis, bronchitis, lungs infection and pneumonia, which could become fatal for the patients. Influenza is a viral disease and it could spread from one person to another.

Specialists also warned that citizens do not involve in self medication practice, antibiotic should not be used in any viral disease and people should get treatment only from qualified doctors.

They advised that department concerned should start a massive public awareness campaign in this regard. Patients suffering from influenza should be kept in isolation wards.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 15, 2018
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