Doctors report a heightened incidence of swine flu across the country with some regions having crossed the threshold of an epidemic. South Moravia reports a 17 percent increase in flu cases in the past week alone and five schools in the region have closed due to illness. The country’s chief hygiene officer has advised all Czech hospitals to close their doors to visitors. A dozen swine flu patients are reported to be on support ventilation in serious condition.
Slovakian health officials Friday confirmed the country's first death due to swine flu this winter, dpa reported.
The victim was a 40-year-old man from the eastern city of Humenne. He died December 22.
Gabriel Simko, the acting director of the Slovakian Hygeine Authority, confirmed the death to the TASR news agency. Officials have reported seven infections due to the H1N1 virus this season, Simko said.
If you think you have developed flu-like symptoms, you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. (Contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 who will use a checklist to diagnose if you have swine flu. If diagnosed, you will be given a voucher number for a ‘flu friend’ to get anti-viral drugs from a collection point).
Contact your GP for advice; most people with ‘flu need only rest in bed with plenty of fluids to drink and paracetamol for their temperature and aches and pains. However, vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, children under five, the over 65’s and those with a serious pre-existing condition such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes or immunosuppressive illnesses may need extra treatment such as anti-viral drugs.
These drugs, which include Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) or Relenza (Zanamivir), are available free of charge on the NHS. Novel H1N1 (swine flu) seems to respond to these medicines in the same way as seasonal flu. Pregnant women, people with health conditions and the under-ones will still all be referred to their GPs.
The treatments are not a cure but can reduce the risk of infection for those who have been exposed to the virus, reduce the ability of a person with the virus to pass it on, and shorten the course of the illness when someone has flu. Most importantly these drugs treatments reduce the risk of serious complications and death. For maximum effect, the drugs should be given as early as possible to someone who has the flu.
However, as with any medicines there may be side effects from anti-viral drugs. Many people with swine flu will only have mild symptoms and they may decide that a combination of rest and simple remedies for symptoms are all that they need.
Treat symptoms as they arise. Try to keep well hydrated with plenty of clear fluids. Take paracetamol or ibuprofen (children should not be given aspirin because of the risk of Reyes syndrome) for aches and pains, and use simple remedies such as cough syrups and vapour rubs. Try to rest as much as possible.
As with all infections, good hygiene is absolutely essential to reduce the risk of spread or contact with the virus:
* Wash your hands regularly
* Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
* Use tissues and dispose of them carefully
* Clean hard surfaces regularly with a standard cleaning fluid
* Avoid close contact with people who have fever and a cough
The effectiveness of wearing a face mask in preventing transmission of the flu virus isn’t yet clear, although it may give some protection to those people such as health professionals who work closely with someone with symptoms of flu.
Don’t worry about eating pork products – there is no evidence that swine flu can be picked up that way. Even if virus is present in the meat, thorough cooking will destroy it.
South Korea has confirmed its first outbreak of avian flu since 2008 and is culling many thousands of birds.
The agricultural ministry confirmed that two farms in the centre and south-west of the country had been contaminated with the H5N1 virus.
So far, more than 100,000 chickens have been culled and more than 10,000 ducks.
South Korea was the second country in Asia to register bird flu, after Thailand, in 2003, suffering three major outbreaks until 2008.
Earlier this month, officials in Seoul confirmed that three cases of bird flu had been found in wild migratory birds that had arrived for winter.
The authorities have warned poultry farmers to take better precautions against wild birds infecting their flocks, including the erection of nets.
The latest outbreak was first detected on Wednesday when birds started dying.
One of the poultry farms affected is in the central city of Cheonan and the other is in the south-western city of Iksan, 90km (56 miles) and 230km (143 miles) south of Seoul, respectively.
Both are now under quarantine, meaning that the movements of people and vehicles are restricted.
Exports of chicken, duck and related products will be affected.
"All the 10,700 ducks at the farm in Cheonan and 17,000 breeding chickens at the farm in Iksan have already been culled and buried, together with 92,000 chickens raised at nearby farms," the ministry said in a press statement.
South Korea has embarked on major culls before: more than eight million birds in 2008, 2.8m in the 2006-07 outbreak and 5.28m in 2003-2004.
South Korea has not registered any human fatalities from bird flu. Four people were infected in 2003.
Separately, South Korea recently confirmed an outbreak of 66 cases of foot and mouth disease, and has registered swine flu infections that have caused the death of one man.
More than half a million cattle, pigs and other cloven-hoofed animals have been culled in the past month, with vaccinations carried out on 313,000 animals.
A month-long quarantine effort has been struggling to keep pace with the contagious disease, since a confirmed infection on 29 November.
One of the farms affected, in Gyeonggi province just west of Seoul is the single largest producer of cattle in the country.
Agriculture ministry estimates suggest that losses from the foot-and-mouth outbreak could exceed $463m (£300m).
Bhopal, Sep 22 (PTI) With one more person succumbing to swine flu, the death toll due to the disease has risen to 66 in Madhya Pradesh, officials said today. Ramchandra (55) from Ratlam district succumbed to viral disease at the M Y Hospital in Indore on Monday, they said.
Bhopal has recorded 29 deaths since August while Indore (22), Jabalpur (10) Gwalior (3) and Harda (1) after the viral infection resurfaced in the state during monsoon. About 80 people are undergoing treatment for symptoms of HINI and the condition of 15 is stated to be critical.
Five more persons tested positive for the influenza virus yesterday. With this, the number of HINI cases in the state has gone up to 266 so far.
Health Ministry officials are worried as the number of swine flu cases reported from various parts of the country are increasing with the monsoon. A total of 548 fresh cases were reported last week, the highest for the current year.
According to the health ministry, 38 people died of the virus between July 19 and 25.
While the four southern states and Maharashtra continued to be severely hit, West Bengal and Delhi also joined the list of flu cases. Maharashtra reported the highest number, with 230 cases this week, followed by Kerala with 108 cases. Karnataka reported 86 cases while Andhra Pradesh and Delhi reported 34 each, followed by West Bengal with 29 cases. Tamil Nadu reported 11 cases.
As many as 19 deaths were reported from Maharashtra, eight from Kerala, five from Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in West Bengal. A handful of cases have also been reported from Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the health ministry has recommended the use of swine flu vaccines to avoid the threat.
'The moisture due to monsoon is giving a good breeding ground to the virus, precautionary measures such as washing of hands, covering the nose and avoiding crowded places must be followed,' a health ministry official told IANS.
According to the health ministry, 1,692 deaths have been reported due to swine flu since its outbreak in May last year
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