DAK sounds Aussie flu alert in Kashmir

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    Srinagar, Jan 30: A vicious Aussie flu has created havoc in western countries and with the ease of global travel it is inevitable the deadly strain will come to Kashmir, said Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday in a communiqué.

    Cautioning public against it, DAK President and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan has asked health authorities in Kashmir valley to be prepared for contingencies.

    “Aussie flu is a mutated (changed) H3N2 flu virus and the strain has claimed number of lives and seen thousands seeking medical help,” he informed

    DAK President said this virus is vicious and strong and is more virulent than other flu strains.

    “This is the dominant virus in circulation this flu season and 80% of  flu cases in the United States are due to this strain,” he informed.

    Dr Nisar said this year’s flu vaccine is unlikely to protect people from this strain adding that not only elderly are its victims but it attacks young and healthy.

    He said flu viruses are unpredictable as they have a tendency to mutate.We can’t predict how these viruses will behave. We are certainly not out of woods yet this flu season as we can have a bad season due this mutated virus.

    Dr Nisar said after hitting Australia hard, the virus has moved to United Kingdom and United States and is spreading to other countries.

    “ Kashmir being the favorite tourist destination, it can come to us anytime. We have to be prepared and alert –  we need to gear up our hospitals to prevent an outbreak,” he said.

    Dr Nisar said Aussie flu symptoms are similar to normal flu, but they can last long and tend to be more severe. Signs include sorethroat, cough, fever, muscle ache, fatigue, runny nose and sneezing. It can lead to pneumonia and other potentially fatal complications.

    “People are advised to maintain basic hygiene habits. Hand washing and cough etiquette are two key ways to prevent the spread of disease,” he said

    “If anyone comes down with flu, don’t mingle with other people that would prevent the virus from spreading,” said Dr Nisar.