Swine flu or H1N1 is a highly contagious virus that is caused by the influenza virus. The flu is similar to the common seasonal flu, with the symptoms like fever, coughing, running nose, sore throat, headaches and body aches, diarrhea and vomiting.

Infants, children, people aged 65 and pregnant women are at greater risk of developing this type of flu. According to recent reports, the sudden outbreak of the swine flu has caused the death of over 40 people in the Western Indian state of Rajasthan and New Delhi and 1,036 people were infected by the epidemic during the month of January alone.

Last year the A H1N1 virus caused the deaths of some 1,100 people across India. 15,000 were infected by the contagious disease. Among those areas ,the district of Jodhpur of Rajasthan recorded the highest deaths of which were about 16 in number and about 225 people’s infection came out to be positive. Till date, the flu has been the cause of death for millions of people around the world.

A study held at the Institute of Zoology in Britain and the Hanoi School of Public Health in Vietnam founded that countries like Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria and India are at greater risk of this pandemic virus. In 1918-19 the virus affected a third of the human race and killed approximately 50 million people worldwide.

Steps like covering one’s nose and mouth with a tissue while sneezing and washing the hands thoroughly can prevent the spreading of it. Trying to avoid the contact with sick people and getting vaccinated against the flu can reduce the risk of the flu spreading. Effective drugs against the flu are the need of the hour to prevent the spread of the disease, and health authorities must take a serious action to tackle this disease which has been spreading at an alarm rate.

ZEESHAN NASIR,

Turbat, January 20.