A technical committee that reviewed the protocol adopted for treatment of A (H1N1) influenza in the State on Friday, has declared that the infection is under control.

The committee concluded that the infection did not warrant immunisation of the entire community and advised private hospitals to start patients on Tamiflu tablets based on clinical findings, and not wait for the result of the confirmatory tests. The doctors were advised not to administer steroids to patients.

Those with flu symptoms should seek medical help and not self-medicate, the committee said.

Health Minister V.S. Vijay organised the meeting, which was attended by principal secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, private and government hospitals in the city, a scientist from the National Institute of Epidemiology, Indian Council of Medical Research, a microbiologist from JIPMER and a virologist from Christian Medical College, Vellore.

Dr. Vijay said the meeting was called to check if the government was taking the correct measures and to find out what more needed to be done.

The committee advised that immunisation be continued for healthcare workers who are exposed to the infection and those in high-risk groups. An official said the State government is also geared to tackle the infection during monsoon and winter.

Unlike two years ago, when the infection was noticed among a select group of people who travelled, this time the virus was found to infect people in lower socioeconomic groups, who had not developed immunity yet.

The official said that an infection that spreads through travel will slowly percolate into a community which was as yet, unexposed to that virus. A population exposed to the infection would automatically develop immunity.

Keywords: swine fluA(H1N1)

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R. SujathaJune 28, 2012