Gandhi Nagar: The traditional Indian way of greeting visitors with hands folded in a ‘namaste’ would go a long way in checking the spread of swine flu, say experts at the state health department. While swine flu toll in state is rising, state health department feels that the root cause is lack of basic hygiene practices. The department has also come out with some observations that show that the elderly, women and children are more vulnerable to swine flu.
Dr Dinkar Raval, deputy director (epidemic) of state health department, said, “There were 18 new cases and three deaths in the state on Wednesday. The gross figures of registered patients have reached 408, of which and 213 have been cured while 78 died. There are two deaths in Rajkot and one in Kutch reported on Wednesday.”
“Simple precautions can save one from the disease. Swine flu virus is active on any kind of surface for at least 12 hours. So, it is a must to keep washing hands at regular intervals after coming into contact with people, doorknobs, handle etc. A ‘namaste’ is more preferable than a handshake as apart from showing respect, it also protects you from infection. One must cover the mouth with a handkerchief while coughing or sneezing,” said Dr Raval.
He added, “It is observed that the reason for swine flu deaths is failure to reach hospital on time. Further, we have also observed that people, already suffering from another illness, died of swine flu. Around 32% people who died due to swine flu were suffering from diabetes, 20% were pregnant women and 10% people had illnesses like tuberculosis or asthma, where the breathing is compromised.” Rajkot has remained at the top in the tally of swine flu deaths with 19 of total 125, followed by Jamnagar with 15 deaths out of 56 patients and Ahmedabad with 13 deaths.