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Experts warn public of potential flu risks

Update: February, 16/2016 - 10:26
Warm, wet weather creates a conducive environment for different kinds of viruses - including the flu - to develop, so people should remain vigilant in order to allow for timely and proper treatment. — Photo dantri.com.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Warm, wet weather creates a conducive environment for different kinds of viruses - including the flu - to develop, so people should remain vigilant in order to allow for timely and proper treatment, health experts said.

Do Thien Hai, Deputy Head of the Infectious Ward of the National Paediatrics Hospital, said that during the winter-spring season every year, the number of children who came to the hospital for flu checks increased sharply.

At times, more than 20 children are hospitalised per week due to serious flu cases combined with side effects such as pneumonia.

Le Hong Hanh, Deputy Head of the Respiratory Ward, said that children often went out during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, so they caught respiratory diseases easily.

Most children recovered from the flu after about one week without antibiotics, but children suffering from the flu often had a loss of appetite, so their resistance dropped and could lead to other dangerous diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis and otitis, said Hanh.

Associate Professor Tran Dac Phu, Director of the Preventive Medicines Department under the Ministry of Health, said the flu virus was contained in people's saliva, tears and nose mucus, so it could spread quickly.

The virus could last two to eight days, he said.

Nguyen Trung Cap, head of the Emergency Ward of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said the hospital often received serious A/H1N1 flu cases with respiratory complications.

"People often think that the flu is a simple disease, so they treat themselves and ignore some symptoms such as tiredness and difficulty breathing," said Cap. "They go to hospital when suffering from respiratory complications, and the treatment will be very difficult."

Associate Professor Phu said that hundreds of millions of people suffered from the flu per year worldwide, and about 250,000 to 500,000 of them die.

Economic losses were uncountable, and to date there was no specific remedy, he said. However, flu vaccines could prevent the disease by 95-97 per cent, so residents should receive the vaccine, said Phu. — VNS

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