Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) president Dr Nisar ul Hassan Friday said that in view of ongoing H1N1 outbreak in the valley concerned authorities should extend winter vacation of schools by two more weeks.
“Flu activity is increasing and the number of positive cases in valley is an underestimate of disease burden as minuscule percentage of population is tested. School closure is recommended non pharmaceutical intervention to contain and mitigate the spread of virus during an outbreak,” the statement said.
“According to a study at Mc Master University published in Annals of internal medicine, closure of schools is likely to significantly reduce the rate of transmission during an outbreak as children are important drivers of transmission. Children in valley are defenseless due to no immunization against H1N1 and are at high risk of infection and complications. We have seen in past outbreaks when it appeared worst is over, flu activity increased abruptly which is because of unpredictability of the virus,” he said.
“Health authorities in valley are duty bound to vaccinate children on priority to protect them which in turn will reduce the impact of H1N1,” he added.