LAHORE: A man and a woman have been diagnosed with Swine Flu (H1, N1 influenza), and six others have been admitted to various city hospitals with symptoms of the disease.Meanwhile, medical experts have urged the authorities to start an awareness campaign to inform the public about precautionary measures.Qadir, 57, a resident of Shalamar Town; and Majeeda Bibi of Sahiwal were admitted to the Hameed Latif Hospital with symptoms of swine flu. On Thursday, laboratory examination of their samples returned positive, confirming that they were suffering from the viral disease.The other six patients are under observation at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Doctors Hospital, and Jinnah Hospital.Pakistan Medical Association (Centre) secretary general Dr. S. M. Qaisar Sajjad said the disease was caused by Influenza virus and its symptoms included fever, sore throat, flu, headaches, body aches, cough, and, in some cases, upper respiratory tract infection as well. “If these symptoms are not treated properly, these can lead to lower tract infection, laryngitis, bronchitis, lungs infection and pneumonia,” he said, adding that Influenza was a viral disease and it could spread from one person to the other.“People should take fresh and balanced diet, take 7-8 hours of sleep, take plenty of water, refrain from hugging or shaking hands with others if they’re noticing any of the symptoms of cold or flu,” he said.He stressed that citizens should avoid self-medication. “Antibiotics should be used in any viral disease. People should consult qualified physicians,” he said.He suggested that government should start a massive public awareness campaign. “Patients suffering from influenza should be kept in isolation wards. Provide clean and safe portable water to the patients and their attendants. “The government should adopt strict preventive measures to stop the spread of the viral disease in other parts of the country. Kits to diagnose the influenza virus should be available at hospitals.”Swine flu is transmitted from person to person by inhalation or ingestion of droplets containing virus from people sneezing or coughing.In uncomplicated infections, swine flu typically begins to resolve after three to seven days, but symptoms including cough can persist for up to two weeks or more in some patients. Severe cases may require hospitalisation that increases the length of time of infection to about nine to 10 days.Published in Daily Times, January 12th 2017.