Now declared as a Pandemic Phase-6 by WHO, caused by Influenza-A virus [H1N1 fever]. Presentation is similar to Seasonal flue.
Mode of spread: Droplet infection by sneezing, speaking or coughing.
Precautions that can be taken:
Avoid spitting in public places.
Always use a Kerchief while sneezing.
Improve airflow in Living spaces.
Indications for use of Mask:
If you are Severely ill.
If you are ill and Travelling.
If you are taking care of an Infected person.
Symptoms to watch out are: Fever, Cough, Headache, Body ache, sore throat , Runny nose.
When to get expert medical advice:
Develop Shortness / difficulty in breathing.
Always in case of Children with increasing fever – Persistent crying, Seizures, Improper feeding, noisy / labored breathing.
Care at home:
Rest in a well ventilated room, Drink plenty of fluids, Have nutritious light diet. Continue Breast feeding.
Precautions for Children:
Avoid taking children to crowded places.
Continue Breast feeding as it helps to transfer essential immunity from mother to children.
Give Tepid sponging using Luke warm water in case of high temperature.
Give nutritious and warm food.
Watch out for Seizure, Breathlessness, Noisy breathing.
Early Expert advice is recommended for children to aid early detection and avoid complications.
NO INCREASED RISK for the Mother or Fetus so do not panic. Management and care is essentially similar as for normal case. But extra care should be given to take Plenty of oral fluids & maintain nutrition. Watch out for any rashes or vesicles as it may indicate some other cause of Fever like Rubella / Chickenpox which may adversely affect the outcome of the Pregnancy. In any case Early medical care and expert opinion should be sought.
NOTE: Please avoid Travelling and Work throughout the course of illness as it not only helps your recovery, but it also helps to prevent the Spread of disease.
Dr Murari M