As Pakistan enters the winter season, the National Institute of Health’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued an advisory on Thursday addressing the prevention and control of seasonal influenza. The advisory’s goal is to alert and assist health officials in implementing timely preventive measures.
Winter Surge and Preparedness
Seasonal influenza cases typically increase during Pakistan’s winter season, according to the advisory. Its goal is to help health authorities and stakeholders prepare for the expected increase in outpatient and in-patient department workload over the next few months.
The advisory emphasizes that seasonal influenza can cause severe illness, particularly in high-risk people. Those with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, cardiac and lung disease, pregnant women, the elderly, and children under the age of five are more likely to develop severe or complicated diseases.
Vaccination as a Preventive Measure
The advisory emphasizes vaccination as the most effective way to prevent influenza virus infection and severe outcomes, particularly in high-risk groups. Vaccination is critical for protecting vulnerable populations during the winter surge.
Preventive Measures and Transmission
Person-to-person transmission via coughing or sneezing, as well as contaminating hands or surfaces, are all ways for influenza to spread. Preventive measures such as frequent hand washing with soap and water, as well as the use of hand sanitizer when handwashing is not possible.
Social Distancing and Sick Patient Guidelines
To limit influenza transmission, the advisory suggests taking additional precautions, such as covering one’s mouth and nose while sneezing. Sick people are advised to rest, avoid crowds, and practice social distancing.