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LAHORE: Up to 134 confirmed influenza patients have been reported across Punjab since August last year.

This was stated by Health Services Director General Dr Akhtar Rasheed Malik at a meeting of the technical committee constituted by the chief minister on H1N1 Seasonal Influenza here on Thursday.

The latest situation of seasonal influenza, especially in Multan, was reviewed, steps taken for the control of the disease and the treatment of the patients in public sector hospitals were discussed at the meeting presided over by Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Khwaja Imran Nazir.

Dr Malik informed the meeting that vaccination of doctors, nurses, deputed for the treatment of influenza patients had also been completed and case response carried out to all the patients.

World Health Organisation representative Dr Jamshed Ahmad said the real need was to raise maximum awareness among the masses regarding the disease so that people could adopt preventive measures and use handkerchief or tissue paper while coughing and sneezing to prevent others from the virus.

Moreover, people should wash their hands with soap after handshaking with the persons suffering from influenza. “This message should be communicated house-to-house through schoolchildren and media,” he said.

Mr Nazir said the disease controlling activities and measures must be accelerated and vigorous awareness campaign against the seasonal influenza should be continued. He directed that electronic media, news channels and cable channels also be used for spreading awareness among the masses.

He said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif constituted the technical committee to monitor the H1N1 seasonal influenza situation and to take effective measures for the control of the disease and ensuring medical treatment of the patients in public sector hospitals.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2018