No Solace for Swine Flu Patients

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Tuesday, 15 December 2015 15:47

PESHAWAR: After two people died of swine flu and at least six others tested positive for the H1N1 or swine flu virus in Swabi, the government seems to have run out of the antiviral medicines which can treat and prevent the disease.

Swabi District Health Officer Dr Niaz, himself infected with the flu, told media, “Even World Health Organization (WHO) seems to have stepped down and asked people to find the vaccine on their own.”

As many as 30 suspected cases were reported across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. National Institute of Health in Islamabad received 13 samples. Of these eight tested positive for H1N1, one for influenza B and four tested negative. At least 10 other reports are pending with NIH.

Majority of the cases were reported from Swabi and six of these were confirmed by NIH, including a hospital nurse. Alarmingly, the district health officer said the provincial health department ran out of the antiviral drug used to treat and prevent H1N1 some time ago.

According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention website, H1N1 spreads like the regular flu. Those who are infected can spread it to others up to about six feet away. “Most experts think flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. A person might also get flu by touching a surface that has flu virus on it.” Niaz said the required items had been provided by the government, but confirmed the vaccine was not available with even the provincial health directorate.

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