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Syed Rafia Tabassum

H1N1 influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that causes symptoms of seasonal influenza in people.  It is also known as swine flu. It’s called swine flu because in the past, the people who caught it had direct contact with pigs, which changed several years ago, when a new virus emerged that spread among people who hadn’t been near pigs. Various studies point towards a new strain of H1N1 virus: the Michigan strain, which has been in circulation since the end of 2016 and has replaced the earlier California strain. H1N1 influenza has claimed so many lives in J&K and other states.  On one hand Hospitals within Kashmir valley are deprived of basic testing & isolation facilities for such patients & on the other hand hospitals are signalling spike in such cases.  As such it becomes a grave concern for concerned agencies & needs immediate attention.

World health organization declared H1N1 influenza a pandemic in 2009 as the number was constantly on rising side. The first half of 2017 has seen a spurt in the number of deaths & infections caused by influenza A (H1N1) commonly known as swine flu in India. It has affected 12460 people and caused 600 deaths in the first half of 2017.

Signs & Symptoms

Just like any other flu, predominantly upper respiratory symptoms like cough, cold accompanied by the causal fever, headache, body ache, loss of appetite, sore throat, weakness and symptoms like uneasy stomach has been reported in many cases. Mild respiratory illness {Nasal congestion, rhinorrhea without fever and occasional severe disease also has been reported. Other symptoms reported with swine flu virus infectio n include vomiting, diarrhoea, myalgia headache, chills, fatigue and dyspnoea. Conjunctivitis is rare, but has been reported; severe disease pneumonia, respiratory failure and fatal outcomes have been reported.

People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flue include:

65 year and older, younger than 18 years, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease and people who are immune compromised {taking immunosuppressive medications, infected with HIV}.


If any person tests positive, all household members and close contacts should be treated simultaneously and kept watch for seven days, the time taken to build up body  immunity.

Some of the same antiviral drugs that are used to treat seasonal flu also work against H1N1 swine flu. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), Peramivir, Zanamivir seem to work best, although some kind of swine flu may not respond to Oseltamivir

The same flu vaccine that protects against seasonal flu protects against the H1N1 swine flu strain we can get it as a shot or as a nasal spray.

For symptomatic relief

For relief of fever, antipyretic medications such as acetaminophen or non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, including nimesulide are recommended. Aspirin/ Aspirin, containing products should not be administered to any confirmed or suspected case of H1N1 infection in subjects aged 18 years or younger due to the rash of Reye’s syndrome.

Emergency warning signs:

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

• Fast breathing.

• Bluish or grey skin colour.

• Not drinking enough fluids.

• Sever or persistent vomiting.

• Not waking up or not interacting.

• Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held.

• Flue like symptoms with fever and worsens with cough.

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include

• Difficulty in breathing / shortness of breath.

• Pain/ pressure in the chest abdomen.

• Sudden dizziness.

• Severe/ persistent  vomiting

• Flu like symptoms with fever and worsens with cough.

While swine flu isn’t as scary as it seemed a few years ago, it is simply important to protect yourself by adopting following measures

• Wash hands with soap and water frequently. Use alcohol based sanitizers if hand washing is not convenient

• Sleep should be adequate {at least and hrs} for boosting immunity.

• Drink at least 10 glasses of water daily. This will not only keep you Hydrated but also help in getting rid of toxins in the body.

• Take coloured fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts as they are known enhance immunity.

• One can also take antioxidants, multivitamins tables, in consultation with physician.

• 45 minutes of brisk walking yoga and exercise regularly can elevate body resistance.

• Surgical masks can provide a mechanical barrier against droplet infection. However it should cover both mouth & nose & should be disposed off after single use. If the mask is dump discard it immediately, in case a mask is not available a cotton handkerchief can be used.

• Stay away from crowded places as far as possible.

• Avoid eating exposed food, salads, & street stuff especially during monsoons.

• Stay at least 1metre away from sick people.

• Staying at home from work or school if you are sick.

The author is a tutor at Srinagar

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Kathua rape, murder case: Clashes continue in Kashmir



Security forces on Saturday burst teargas shells to disperse the demonstrators, including students, at some places in Kashmir valley, protesting against rape and brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl at Kathua in Jammu.

Scores of youth hit the streets at main town Sopore in north Kashmir district of Baramulla, demanding death penalty for culprits in Kathua case.

However, when the youth tried to take out a protest march, security forces deployed in the area stopped them from moving ahead.
As the demonstrators didn’t back down, security forces burst teargas shells to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between security forces and students, who took to streets at Chadoora in central Kashmir district of Budgam and protested against the Kathua incident.

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Kathua Factories ‘Linked’ to Ex-Minister Lal Singh Raided | Crores of Rupees was Seized.



“Our teams raided one factory in Kathua and two in Samba districts today,” inspector general of police Jammu zone SD Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir.

Three factories in which ousted BJP minister Lal Singh is believed to own a share were raided by the police on Friday and acacia catechu (kattha) worth crores of rupees was seized.

“Our teams raided one factory in Kathua and two in Samba districts today,” inspector general of police Jammu zone SD Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir.

Sources said that the raids came after major reshuffle in the Forest department carried out by Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, who took over charge of the department from Choudhary Lal Singh.

The former Forest Minister was compelled to resign by his party high command alongwith Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga following their controversial remarks in Kootah’s Hindu Ekta Manch Rally against Crime Branch probe in the brutal rape and murder case at Rasana.

Sources said that the Forest Vigilance team along with Police jointly conducted raids at J K Integrated Park in Kathua (close aide of Choudhary Lal Singh) and another factory of Katha wood in Kathua.

The raids were carried out on the Katha wood factory, where medicines are extracted. The State government has banned the export of wood out of the State, while a mafia runs the trade illegally.

Sources said that the former minister “was using his influence and most of the contractors were his close aides and the factories, which were given licenses, were run by close relatives of former Forest Minister”.
During the raids, sources told Rising Kashmir, records were checked, and seized by the Forest Department officials, and it was also learnt that large quantity of raw material was seized from the spot.
“Illegal registration has been given to some factories which processed the Khair wood more than the approved capacity,” said the sources citing the complaint.

Initially there were only three units of Khair wood— JK Katha, Guru Nanak, and BK Katha (Govt contractor) at Gangyal— but now the number was much higher. The case against Lal Singh was based on the fact that he instead of renewing the licenses had given the permissions to his kith and kin to start the work of extraction.

The involvement of former Minister started after 1994, sources said, as another unit was established with the name MS Industry and it was opposed by all three previous units who lodged a complaint with the Vigilance and later the matter went to the court.
Sources said that the court gave a ruling and directed the Government to form new policy and issue fresh licenses on the bases of raw material availability without hurting ecology or environment.

Sources told Rising Kashmir that the court directions were violated and the licenses to four units were not renewed by the Forest Department by Lal Singh. The licenses were also issued in violation of rules.

Meanwhile sources said that the BJP high command is unhappy with the former Forest Minister who is openly conducting rallies in support of a CBI inquiry in the Kathua case.
Sources told Rising Kashmir that the rallies by a senior BJP leader has put the alliance partner in a tight spot as these actions by Singh are being viewed as an “open revolt” after he was forced to resign over his participation in a pro-rape rally in Hiranagar last month.

“His campaign was seen as revolt in BJP by many and, he took out a march from Jammu City to Kathua and in Udhampur where some of his supporters shouted slogans against the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh,” sources said.
Lal Singh, sources said, is considered to be the close aide of Jatinder Singh, who is Minister of State in PMO. On Thursday, brother of Lal Singh held a press conference in Kathua and demanded that Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh should step down.

Rajinder Singh Babbi demanded that Jitendar Singh should be made Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said that the BJP high command was unhappy with the activities of Lal Singh after he lost portfolio in the Government and started taking out protest rallies demanding CBI probe in Rasana case. His stand has put the government in trouble as people in Kathua and Samba, and Bar Associations are openly demanding CBI probe.
Sources said that Lal Singh “will not be taken back in the cabinet of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti due to his rallies against the Government.”

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Asiya Andrabi, associates arrested in Anantnag in south Kashmir



Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chief Asiya Andrabi along with her associates from Anantnag district late last night.

An official said that Andrabi and her associates were arrested from Anchidora area of the district for their alleged role in female student protests and subsequent stone-pelting on the forces.

Many other youth were also rounded up by the police during nocturnal raids in Anantnag town.

Asiya was detained at 10.00 pm yesterday after which raids followed, said the official, wishing anonymity.

Those arrested include Tehreek-e-Hurriyat tehsil Saddar Anantnag Aashiq Hussain.

Massive student protests against Kathua incident erupted earlier this week in south Kashmir, especially Anantnag town, where protesters clashed with the forces, leaving dozens of them injured.

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