Swine flu makes headlines across Saudi Arabia

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 11:43 PM by
Yes, it’s spreading; the count of swine flu cases in the kingdom has reached 216 so far with nil death cases reported. As of now, most of the infected patients have recovered and are leading normal lives while all remaining cases are stable and expected to fully recover after treatment.

Recently the Saudi Health Ministry declared about 20 cases of the flu in an International school in Riyadh. The school has been forced to close down for a week as a precautionary measure. Though the officials have declined to identify the name of the institution, an expert has confirmed that it’s the Future Generation International School.

Coming to the air traffic situation, the holiday season usually generated a huge profit to the airlines but things have changed this summer. Due to the outbreak of the influenza virus, the air traffic from KSA to the United States and Europe has incurred immense losses amounting to millions of dollars.

The question now arises if this years Hajj will be affected by the A/H1N1 virus. An Expert has quoted that although the chances of contracting the swine flu virus may be low, it could be dangerous, and it would be wise for pilgrims not to take any risks.

Well, the Saudi government has made a move to pay out enormous sums to conduct the pilgrimage, from staffing at airports to security and health support in Mecca. Pro-active measures have been taken by installing thermal cameras at the major points of entry to identify those arriving with fevers. Cameras will also be set up at health centers around the country.

Are You Infected???

Examine your self for the following symptoms:
  • Coughs, sore throat, feverish illness, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite and muscle aches.
  • Runny or stuffy nose, Chills.
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Pneumonia and respiratory failure.
  • In young children, warning signs include fast or troubled breathing, a bluish skin tone and irritability.

If you think you are infected:

  • Use a tissue when possible to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Dispose of dirty tissues without delay.
  • Avoid contact with other people as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus. Stay hygienic.
  • Clean hard surfaces, such as door handles, telephones etc. regularly using a normal cleaning product
  • Wearing a mask can help prevent passing the infection to others.
Whom to contact in case of swine flu?

The Ministry of Health has opened its laboratories to conduct clinical examinations on a 24/7 basis and set up a toll free line (800-249-4444) to respond to queries from the public on any matter related to swine flu. The callers will be treated with strict confidentiality & experienced doctors in the relevant field will assist the callers in clarifying doubts.
Swine flu incubation can take up to seven days, though generally it is between 24 and 48 hours from initial infection. Anti-viral drugs work best if it’s taken within 48 hours of the manifestation of symptoms.

Sequel article: First Swine Flu Death in Saudi Arabia

Listen to Radio Station 97.7 FM for latest updates on the swine flu cases in KSA.Click here for the English Broadcast Timings.

P.S: The author has no commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.
The information is as up-to-date as possible at the time of writing.

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