Preg­nant women told to get flu shot for win­ter

CDC is­sues guide­lines as flu sea­son ex­pected to be worse

Deccan Chronicle - - CITY - KANIZA GARARI I DC HY­DER­ABAD, OCT. 13

With the flu sea­son ex­pected to be worse in the win­ter of 2018-2019, the Cen­tre for Disease Con­trol (CDC) has rec­om­mended that preg­nant women must be vac­ci­nated as it will re­duce the im­pact of the disease by 40 per cent. The guide­lines have been re­leased as it has been found that the num­ber of cases will be high this year as com­pared to those in the win­ter of 2017-2018.

Direc­tor of In­sti­tute of Pre­ven­tive Medicine Dr K. Shankar, said, “A preg­nant woman must be vac­ci­nated as her im­mu­nity is com­pro­mised and the vac­cine is safe. The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia also has guide­lines where we are in­sist­ing that preg­nant women dur­ing this sea­son must opt for vac­ci­na­tion. It is found to help. It is not that the flu will not af­fect them. Even if they get the flu, the vac­cine will en­sure that it will be less de­bil­i­tat­ing than it will be in those women who are not vac­ci­nated.”

Flu com­pli­ca­tions of­ten lead to pneu­mo­nia and multi-or­gan fail­ure in preg­nant women as their im­mu­nity is com­pro­mised. In 80 per cent of the cases, the hos­pi­tals have also noted late ad­mis­sions due to which man­age­ment of the disease be­comes a ma­jor prob­lem.

Su­per­in­ten­dent of Gandhi Hos­pi­tal Dr Shra­van Ku­mar, said, “In preg­nant women we find that they do not give pri­or­ity to their treat­ment. But in the win­ter sea­son, due to the in­creas­ing in­ci­dences of flu, we are coun­selling that early treat­ment is re­quired. Hand hy­giene, avoid­ing crowded places is a must.

Ev­ery day 100 sam­ples of blood are be­ing col­lected from the State and sent to the In­sti­tute of Pre­ven­tive Medicines for test­ing of swine flu. The cost of tests in pri­vate hos­pi­tals as de­cided by the gov­ern­ment is `3,500 per test.

There are about 50 to 80 blood sam­ples which are sent from pri­vate hos­pi­tals ev­ery day.

The num­ber of swine flu cases are high and ex­perts state that the virus is in the third year of its cy­cle hence whether it has mu­tated or not, will have to be seen in the win­ter months. The vir­u­lence is de­cided on the ba­sis of the spread and the de­bil­i­ta­tion that it causes in the hu­man body.

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