Awas Tempias Bersin!

Jangkitan virus influenza, ada kalanya dikenali sebagai “flu”, sangat mudah berlaku dan menyebabkan gejala umum seperti demam, sakit kepala dan sengal otot, serta hidung tersumbat, sakit tekak, hidung berair dan batuk. Pada masa dahulu, masyarakat di negara tropika dan subtropika menganggap influenza hanya berlaku di negara barat yang beriklim lebih sejuk.

Bagaimanapun, sistem pemantauan influenza di Malaysia dan negara jiran sentiasa menunjukkan bahawa influenza adalah punca utama penyakit di kalangan kanak-kanak. Sejak virus influenza yang biasanya terdapat dalam burung (A/H5N1) menjangkiti manusia di Asia Timur pada 1997, kerajaan telah menambah baik dan meluaskan pemantauan. Selain mengenal pasti virus jenis baru yang boleh menyebabkan wabak global yang serius, sistem pemantauan ini memberi maklumat yang berharga tentang siapa yang mendapat influenza dan bila jangkitan paling banyak berlaku. Di Malaysia, jangkitan influenza berlaku sepanjang tahun dan memuncak antara Mei-Jun dan Ogos-September. Pengetahuan ini boleh membantu pihak berkuasa kesihatan dan doktor anda membuat keputusan yang lebih baik untuk mencegah influenza menerusi pemvaksinan dan untuk merawat jangkitan influenza di kalangan kanak-kanak yang lebih berisiko mengalami komplikasi serius.

Kita perlu mengubah tanggapan umum bahawa influenza bukan penyakit biasa dan bukan pula penyakit teruk. Virus influenza sentiasa tersebar di seluruh dunia, menyebabkan berjuta-juta orang jatuh sakit dan kerugian ekonomi yang sangat besar, terutamanya dari segi kehilangan hari kerja dan sekolah, dan berjuta-juta kunjungan ke klinik. Dalam selang waktu yang tidak dapat diramalkan, virus influenza jenis baru boleh muncul, menyebabkan kebanyakan orang tidak mempunyai pelalaian untuk melindungi diri daripada ancamannya. Ini boleh mengakibatkan wabak global, seperti yang berlaku pada 2009 apabila virus influenza H1N1 muncul. Setakat Ogos 2010, lebih 214 negara telah diserang wabak H1N1, dengan lebih 18,449 kematian dilaporkan. Di Malaysia sahaja, sehingga bulan Mei 2010, sebanyak 14,772 kes H1N1 disahkan dengan 87 kematian dilaporkan.

Amalan menjaga kebersihan seperti membasuh tangan dengan kerap, menutup mulut apabila bersin dan batuk, dan tidak keluar rumah apabila merasa tidak sihat, boleh membantu mengurang penyebaran influenza. Bagaimanapun, pada hakikatnya, tabiat ini sukar diamalkan, lebih-lebih lagi di kalangan kanak-kanak dan dalam keadaan sesak. Cara paling berkesan untuk mencegah jangkitan influenza ialah dengan pemvaksinan tahunan.

Tempias bersin

Sebab utama influenza sangat mudah berjangkit ialah kerana ia boleh tersebar daripada seorang kepada seorang menerusi tempias daripada mulut apabila seseorang yang dijangkiti batuk, bersin ataupun bercakap. Tempias virus dalam udara boleh menjangkiti orang yang menyedut udara ini. Virus influenza boleh juga tersebar apabila seseorang menyentuh permukaan atau objek yang tercemar.

Anda boleh menyebarkan influenza sebelum anda sendiri menyedari anda dijangkiti, kerana manusia boleh menjangkitkan virus ini kepada orang lain bermula satu hari sebelum penyakit ini menunjukkan gejalanya. Orang yang dijangkiti boleh terus menjangkitkan virus ini kepada orang lain sehingga 5 hari selepas mereka jatuh sakit, iaitu apabila mereka mula menunjukkan gejala penyakit. Kanak-kanak yang dijangkiti influenza selalunya mengalami gejala gastrousus seperti loya, muntah dan juga cirit-birit.

Menjauhkan masalah

Jika dibiarkan dan tidak dikawal, virus influenza sering menyebabkan wabak di rumah, sekolah dan dalam masyarakat. Pemvaksinan adalah langkah paling penting yang anda boleh ambil untuk mencegah jangkitan influenza. Disebabkan virus sentiasa berubah, vaksin influenza sentiasa dikemas kini untuk memastikan perlindungan daripada jenis virus yang sedang tersebar. Terdapat juga virus jenis utara dan jenis selatan, merujuk kepada wabak yang berlaku semasa musim sejuk di kedua-dua hemisfera. Inilah juga sebabnya kita perlu mengambil vaksin influenza setiap tahun. Vaksin influenza paling baru bagi 2010-2011 melindungi kita daripada tiga jenis virus – influenza A (H3N2 dan H1N1) dan influenza B – jenis yang paling biasa tersebar.

Tahukah anda bahawa jangkitan influenza juga boleh menyebabkan komplikasi perubatan yang serius?

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