LAHORE - Prof Javed Akram, Principal Allama Iqbal Medical College and Jinnah Hospital Lahore has said there was no need of panic since the mortality of the disease with swine flu was less than half a per cent. He said Jinnah hospital has complete diagnostic and treatment facility for swine flu patients, adding that Jinnah hospital was the first institution of the province to have such integrated facilities for five hundred patients. He expressed these views while addressing a seminar on An overview on Swine Influenza Viral Infection on Monday. Director General Health, Dr Aslam was the guest of honor, while Dr Saeed Elahi, MPA, Dr Asad Ashraf, MPA and Dr Zamurad Yasmin Rana, MPA were the special guests. Prof Javed Akram, presided over the seminar. A large number of consultants, Executive District Officers from all over the province, doctors, nurses, students and media personnel attended the seminar. Dr Javed Akram speaking about the clinical sign and symptoms of the disease said that like all cases of common influenza the symptoms were sore throat, high-grade fever, bodily aches and pains of a more severe nature, he informed. What was needed, he emphasized was preparedness and prevention. It was for the clinicians to decide which cases required the specific tests for swine flu. Simple measures like frequent handwashing, use of face masks and segregation of patients was enough to prevent the spread of infection. Most of the cases recover fully within a short span of time and only compromised patients, the very young and very old or those suffering from some other concurrent disease are most susceptible, he said. The speakers discussed the various aspects of the disease, its diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Dr Maryam Tarar, virologist informed that swine flu is the common influenza virus whose components consists of an assortment of genes taken from human, swine and avian viruses thus leading to the creation of a new virus strain. It replicates more efficiently than a commonly circulating virus, she informed. The currently pandemic swine flu virus had the nomenclature H1N1 and since the common people have previously not been exposed to this new virus, therefore, there is less resistance through antibodies, she elaborated. She further said that in our country there is no danger of spread of swine influenza from animals but the possibility of spread from one human to another is present. On the occasion, Dr Muhammad Aslam, Director General Health informed that to date only seven positive cases of influenza had been detected in the province while two deaths had taken place from the infection. He emphasized the need for simple preventive measures declaring that the use of vaccine was not feasible at this time. He informed the participants that the Health Department had made all arrangements of diagnosis and treatment as well as public health education with regard to the disease. Prof Nosheen Waseem Yousaf and Prof Naheed Humayun Sheikh also addressed the participants with regard to diagnoses and prevention of the disease.