President DAK, Dr Suhail Naik said that they have observed in winters the incidence of flu cases surge and a large number of people fall sick in Kashmir.
In a statement he said “Such a sharp rise in flu cases which has a clinical spectrum akin to coronavirus will subsequently overburden the health infrastructure and can create chaos and confusion among people,” he said.
Naik said preventing flu is important but in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to reduce illnesses and preserve scarce health care resources.
“During such disasters that have a huge impact on life, livelihood, it is our responsibility that we must be preventive and address all dimensions of the pandemic,” he said.
Naik said that a 2017 study had shown that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay and the overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized adults with flu.
“Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions like diabetes, COPD, Asthma, Chronic Kidney Disease and underlying heart diseases,” he said.
The DAK president said that vaccination further reduces the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection among pregnant women by about one half.
He said a number of studies have shown that in addition to helping to protect pregnant women, a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect baby from flu for several months after birth, when the baby isn’t old enough to be vaccinated.
DAK appealed the government that this year it is mandatory that all people should be vaccinated with flu vaccine so that people do not fall sick and overburden already overstretched health infrastructure.