Thursday, November 19, 2009

Misconceptions About the Virus H1N1

By: Una Zabunov
Belgrade, Nov.11, 2009 (Serbia Today) - In the latest press release of the Institute of Public Health of Serbia "Dr Milan Jovanović Batut", according to the National Reference Laboratory for the respiratory viruses, the Institute of Virology, vaccines and serums Torlak, confirmed 254 cases of illness caused by a new type of influenza virus H1N1. It’s registered the seventh fatal outcome from this type of flu. Of 254 sick people, 72 cases of disease associated with the travel of these people. International airports are a potential risk for getting the virus, because it circulates a large number of people from different parts of the world.
Media in Serbia every day published reports about the victims of the virus and at the same time appeal to citizens not to panic. Every winter, people in Serbia are sick from seasonal flu and fatal outcomes are not rare, but until now the media are not attributed significance. Mortality of a new flu the same as the mortality from ordinary flu.
The symptoms of swine flu are very similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu. Infected people usually have: fever (greater than 37.8 ° C), hoarseness, stuffy nose and runny nose, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, sneezing, coughing and fatigue. Difficulty breathing is a confirmation that it is a serious phase of swine flu and in this case hospitalization is necessary .
Grip gradually overtakes all parts of Serbia and the citizens still do not reliably know how to protect themselves. Councils by the Serbian experts for the prevention of commas new flu were: regular hand washing, healthy diet, vitamin intake and wearing protective masks. Due to the poor of information, people are in fear of possible commas empty shelving pharmacies. Protective masks and preparations for lifting immunity are sold out extremely fast. However, masks can protect only 30 minutes and after that period it is necessary to put a new one. It is not in the nature of man to repeatedly wear a protective mask. For example, if someone wants to have breakfast or drink coffee must remove the mask, which means that in this way expose themselves to the virus. Shopping of protective masks is proved as a bad investment.
The attitude of the World Health Organization is that influenza vaccines are one of the most effective ways to protect people from contracting illness during influenza epidemics and pandemics. They said that these vaccines will boost immunity against the new influenza, and help ensure public health as the pandemic evolves. Our health facilities are not equipped with vaccines because stocks do not exist. Despite months of advance was known that a new wave of influenza starts in the winter, vaccines have not yet been ordered from manufacturers.The absence of a vaccine is not the only problem. Chairman of the Working Group of the Ministry of Health to monitor the pandemic Predrag Kon in several press releases stated that the priority in vaccination will have children older than six months, the elderly, chronic patients and employees in public institutions. If someone refuses to receive the vaccine he must sign a statement of fact, however, and eceryone who receives the vaccine must sign that he take responsibility for himselves. This caused further distrust of the citizens receiving the vaccine. The question is if the vaccine is completely safe why everyone should sign to take it on own responsibility. Some countries don’t have a positive attitude about the new vaccine against influenza. In Poland, the vaccine will be given until complete all the tests on pregnant women and children, so that pharmaceutical companies could actually guarantee that the vaccine has no side effects.
President of the German society for General and Family Medicine Michael Cohen recommended doctors not to give vaccines against new influenza virus A (H1N1), especially pregnant women and children, because the risk is greater than the benefit. Russian Academician and Vice President of Board of Health State Duma Sergei Kolesnjikov said that the purchase of vaccines against swine flu unnecessary spending of money, because the level of threat from a new flu inflated. The position of our Minister of Health is that the vaccine is safe. Who is the right time will tell us.
One of the measures to slow the spread of influenza, as recommended by epidemiologists, is the extension of the autumn holiday for two days by the Serbian Education Minister Žarko Obradović because children are most sensitive. Also, all excursions, lessons in nature, and other gatherings that would spread the virus with a favorable N1H1 will be delayed. Many parents are on their own initiative decided to not keep their children in kindergarten to protect them from influenza, and a large number of children missing their kindergarten’s activities. The possible measures as a declaration of a pandemic and new precautionary measures, special working group will review on Tuesday, 10 November. One of possible measure is the embargo of public gatherings such as concerts, theaters, cinemas.
Tips from the working group for pandemic influenza to people who have a fever, they should stay at home and use drugs for the overthrow of temperature and vitamin C. If high temperature does not decline and there are problems with breathing it is best to consult with a doctor who will decide on further treatment of the patient.

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