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Updated: October 27, 2012 09:51 IST

Mass gatherings resulting in swine flu

Staff Reporter
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Facts came to light when doctors treating patients recorded their travel history

Mass gathering of public is triggering cases of swine flue in the capital and elsewhere this October. Of the 30 swine flu positive patients, who were admitted to Gandhi Hospital this month, majority had recently returned from Tirupati while others had taken part in the Ganesh immersion at Hyderabad.

The sudden increase in swine flu cases came after the Ganesh immersion procession on September 29 and the first Brahmotsavams, between September 17 and 27, in Tirupati.

This startling fact came to light when doctors treating patients in Gandhi Hospital recorded their travel history.

Sudden increase

Between this January and September, the city has witnessed close to 25 swine flu deaths while the number of swine flu positive cases during the same period reached the 190 mark.

Doctors have also said that fluctuation in temperature is also causing the rise in swine flu cases.

The health advice from authorities is that persons who have diabetes, hypertension, lung and kidney ailments, pregnant women, elderly and children should take precautions.

No deaths reported

Doctors at Gandhi Hospital said that despite the sudden rise, there were no deaths.

“If possible, people should avoid mass gatherings. We have four wards and enough beds to treat swine flu cases. All our cases were referred to us from private hospitals after their treatment modalities failed,” said swine flu nodal officer for Gandhi Hospital, Dr. Narasimhulu.

Facilities to treat swine flu patients at Osmania General Hospital (OGH) are yet to be reinforced.

Much to the discomfort of patients, OGH does not have dedicated swine flu wards or facilities to collect swab samples from patients to test for swine flu.

As a result, OGH patients are being sent to Gandhi Hospital for treatment.

Precautionary measures

Authorities, however, said that instructions have already been issued with regard to treating such patients.

“As a precautionary measure, health workers are distributing Fluvir tablets among relatives of swine flu patients.

At this moment, cases of swine flu are sporadic but we have directed all hospitals to make separate arrangements for patients,” said Additional Director (Communicable Diseases) Dr. T. Geeta Prasadini.

“A majority of health workers in Government hospitals have been vaccinated for swine flu.

Those who can afford a swine flu vaccine can opt for it. Or else, they can simply take precautions to avoid swine flu,” doctors said.

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