Preventive methods: Avoid large crowds, wash hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
Hyderabad: Two hundred and sixty five cases of swine flu have been detected state-wide since August 1, 2017, a sudden increase that should be taken seriously by public health authorities.
Those suffering from diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and kidney problems, as well as pregnant women, are more vulnerable.
Dr Anjul Dayal, senior intensivist, said that in people who do not have any other medical problem, swine flu is like any other flu.
"In these people the viral load is less and the body's immune system fights the virus. They require adequate rest, isolation, sleep and good intake of fluid and diet. They must not exert themselves and must relax. In this category of patients, home care can also be advised if any other underlying medical conditions are ruled out."
But in patients who are suffering from co-morbid conditions, hospitalisation is required, for they need additional care and maybe also emergency care if their organs start getting affected.
"In patients suffering from diabetes, hypertension and kidney problems, we find that it takes time for the body to fight the virus. The compromised state of these patients leads to higher viral load in the body. While the virus has a self-limiting effect, it in turn activates the bacteria in the body which take over, leading to debilitating conditions," said Dr B. Shiva Raju.
Such patients require effective management and care. In many cases the patient recovers after intensive management but in many others, it can prove fatal, Dr Raju said.
Pregnant women must take special care during this season as they are immune compromised and susceptible.
The best advice that doctors have to offer people is to avoid crowded places, wash hands thoroughly and regularly, and cover one’s mouth when coughing.