Former Awami League lawmaker from a reserved seat, Fazilatun Nasa Bappy, did not die of swine flu. She had seasonal influenza and died of respiratory disease, said the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
"Bappy already had asthma. The Influenza aggravated the respiratory issue and later she developed pneumonia," the Institute Director Professor Meerzady Sabrina Flora told a press briefing on Sunday.
Professor Meerjady said Bappy, who was also a Supreme Court lawyer, died of respiratory disease.
The press briefing of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research also explained the H1N1 flu —also known as swine flu.
Speakers at the press briefing, said swine flu is a disease of pigs, which does not infect humans. There is no connection between swine flu and H1N1.
They said that H1N1 spread fast around the world in 2009 prompting the World Health Organization to declare it as a pandemic. At that time, many people wrongfully termed it as swine flu.
The World Health Organization clearly says the virus H1N1 should be termed as seasonal influenza since the pandemic has ended.
Professor Meerjady Sabrina Flora said, "We need to avoid using the word swine flu."
The Institute Director said that seasonal influenza normally takes four to five weeks to cure.
However, it can be difficult to cure in certain cases, "For example— diabetics, pregnant women, elderly people and children with a weaker immunity system can develop seasonal influenza easily," added Meerjady Sabrina.
She said influenza does not spread by air. However, a person can be infected by coming within one-meter of an infected person. Therefore, doctors suggest not getting close to the infected.
"However, the infected should not be isolated," added Meerjady Sabrina.
The symptoms of seasonal influenza are similar to those of the common flu, usually accompanied by fever or feeling feverish, cough, sore throat and stuffy nose.
The Institute director said, "We have an adequate stock of the vaccine for the disease, and people at high-risk can avail it. Pilgrims take the vaccine before going for hajj."
Prof Abul Kalam Azad, director-general for health services, said there is no fear over the H1N1 flu. It can be easily prevented if people are cautious.
Abul Kalam suggested covering the mouth while coughing, using a mask, washing hands with soap and avoiding public appearance during flu.
The principal scientific officer of the Institute, Dr ASM Alamgir, was also present at the media briefing.