Dr A Laxminarayana Rao MBBS, DO MS, MS
Our TV, including the doctors appearing on it – have created a wrong impression about swine flu. It is a new virus. There is no treatment for it. [There is no treatment for common cold either]. [Scientifically, cure means summary disposal of the causative organism. E.g. TB can be cured, so can Leprosy be.
But common cold can't be cured - the medicines we give address only the symptoms of cold - not the disease proper.] Like other flu-s, H1N1 also runs its course of a week or 2. It is self-limiting. It dies on its own. [Unless our energetic doctors use antibiotics etc]
Its symptoms too are just like common flu in 99.5% of cases – fever, headache, body ache, weakness, running nose, vomiting and/or diarrhea. All one has to do is to stay away from doctors and/or hospitals, do tepid sponging and/or Metacin tabs – only if temp goes over 102 or 104 [ depending on ones physical health], [ our body raises its temperature for the express purpose of killing the viruses], Take plenty of water, vegetables n fruits, keep oneself as clean as possible.
In 0.5% of cases, swine flu can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome. [Not unlike SARS] There is no way of telling who will get it or why. There is no way of preventing it too. There is no point in going to a doctor or dispensary. The moment one has breathing problem, the moment his nails or skin turn bluish, he has to go immediately to a tertiary care hospital – which has ventilators and full fledged pulmonary care facilities. Death is certain without a ventilator.
Does it look scary? Not really. The chances of one dying due to swine flu are less than that due to a bolt from the blue or a king cobra bite. W.H.O says nearly 1/3 of Indian population will get H1N1 infection in a matter of few months. Its prediction of death toll for India, in worst case scenario, is not more than 3000! [So the disease to death ratio becomes 300000:1]
A health worker quipped the other day – “A few hundreds died due to H1N1, and everybody is walking around with a stupid mask on their face, a few millions have died due to aids – but no one wears a condom!
And that mask is useless, viruses travel in micro-aerosols which can easily pass through. Only a respirator [n95 masks] can prevent viral spread.
And just because virus has entered ones system – it doesn’t mean that he will develop flu. Even if a confirmed H1N1 patient breathes directly down the throats of some 100,000 people, not even a 100 of them may develop flu.
Many doctors have claimed on the TV that if the patient is diagnosed and treated early and energetically – they can save his life. It is bullshit. There is no early treatment and there is no energetic treatment. No treatment is needed unless the patient develops respiratory problems – and when he does develop – no treatment may be enough. A ventilator and intensive pulmonary care in the best equipped hospital is the only hope.
It looks ridiculous to see people, with their stupid masks, lined up outside dispensaries and middle-level hospitals.. There is no viricidal drug. Even Tamiflu [Oseltamivir], at its best, can reduce the course of the disease by a day or two – nothing more.. Even the latest drug, Relenza [Zanamivir] – which is used as an inhaler- is only marginally better.
What we can do then?
Keep our natural immunity high. How?
Vegetables, fruits and exercise. Drink enough water to flush out the toxins from our system. Stay a safe distance from doctors and dispensaries! [Nothing better than your sweet home as far as all these self-limiting seasonal viral episodes are concerned] Maintain high standards of personal hygiene.
In fact we need to bathe more frequently when we run temperature. [It will bring down the need for metacin/ paracetamol] Take special care of those who are vulnerable – children, elderly, immuno-compromised and having concurrent ailments.
Dr A Laxminarayana Rao MBBS; DOMS; MS:
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon,
Koyili Hospital, Cannanore -670004. Kerala State. INDIA.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Mob :+914972704371