Play Holi dry to prevent Swine Flu, says Health Officials

The festivel of Holi might increase the number of swine flu cases in Lucknow given the trend of playing with water and making close contact by way of profuse embracing and shaking hands.

Health officials urged people not to play Holi with water and prevent cold and other seasonal infections including H1N1.

Head of microbiology department, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute Of Medical Sciences, Dr T N Dhole said people should take caution while greeting each other. "The virus spreads through handshakes and hugs and affects a person with lowered immunity. Hand wash and sneeze hygiene are a must", he said.

As per Indian Railway estimates, some 2 lakh people are expected to travel from the national capital region to celebrate with their dear ones. Fearing the passengers may bring along H1N1 virus to the city, health officials estimate the swine flu tally would surge further.

CMO Lucknow SNS Yadav said swine flu has affected many persons in NCR and those coming from there with flu symptoms may spread the problem to their relatives in the city. "Also, H1N1 virus is circulating in the city so some of those coming to Lucknow may contract the infection here", he feared.

Change in weather conditions is set to fuel and increase flu conditions. "While facilitating activity of H1N1 virus, rush of people during Holi is set to make way for its spread. I appeal to people to follow swine flu prevention tips to avoid trouble", stated Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary, health and family welfare.

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