According to official reports two patients, one in Bahawalpur and the other in Multan have been diagnosed with the Swine Flu , also known as 2009 H1N1 type A influenza. Unofficial reports do suggest however that the outbreak is more widespread in parts of Punjab and Karachi. With the 41 people who lost their lives to Diptheria recently, the government must not make light of the surfacing reports and take notice before the outbreak becomes a pandemic as it did back in 2009.

According to WHO statistics, between 2009 and 2010, the virus killed more than 18,000 people, however, a follow-up study done in September 2010, found that “the risk of most serious complications was not elevated in adults or children.” India had reported 218 deaths from swine flu in the year 2014 and by 2015 has confirmed more than 2000 people dead due to the virus. As geographical location is important and the spread of the flu is likely on this side of the border, the government needs to be prepared by equipping hospitals with isolation wards and trying to secure H1N1 flu vaccinations if possible.

The disease originally was nicknamed swine flu because the virus that causes the disease originally jumped to humans from the live pigs in which it evolved. The virus is a mix of genes from swine, bird, and human flu viruses. This new swine flu virus has changed in ways that allow it to spread from person to person - among people who haven’t had any contact with pigs. Symptoms of H1N1 swine flu are like regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. The most serious complication of the flu is pneumonia; hence the elderly and those with a lower immune system should be more careful of contracting the disease. People can protect themselves by staying home if suffering from flu like conditions to prevent the risk of transferring the virus. Educating and awareness is key to prevent panic and confusion.