Four more persons tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus taking the total number of confirmed cases in the district to 54. Results of 16 suspected cases of the swine fever are pending. Public health officials said there was no need to panic as these cases were detected following the intensified screening and awareness campaigns.
Officials say the virulence of the disease has declined though none of the recently reported cases had travelled outside the State, indicating that the fresh cases are indigenous in nature. They said there was no need to shut down schools as only a few of the confirmed and suspected cases are schoolchildren.
The cases so far have been predominantly reported from the Kozhikode corporation area. Only one confirmed case reported recently was from outside the corporation limits — Moodadi. Officials said that Tamiflu was well-stocked at the Beach and Taluk Hospitals to deal with a spike, should one arise.
The throat swabs collected from persons with suspicious symptoms are sent to Manipal for confirmation. Since the first incidence of the fever in the district in August, 302 persons were suspected with symptoms of the A(H1N1) virus. No swine fever deaths have been reported in the district, though it is among the highest in the State in terms of confirmed cases.
Doctors have visited most schools within corporation limits and screened students. From Tuesday, doctors attached to PHC’s in the district have been visiting schools in rural areas to monitor students. These doctors have reported that there is no cause for worry and have requested students with symptoms of normal fever to remain at home.
Officials in Kozhikode are also gearing up to face the return of Haj pilgrims from abroad and the passage of pilgrims from other States during the Sabarimala season. A door to door survey of persons who have left for Haj is being done at the PHC and Panchayat level.
Officials are planning to put up posters in four languages at temples, river banks and bathing spots in the district along the route pilgrims will take to reach Sabarimala. The posters are intended to help the pilgrims identify symptoms of the swine fever. Hospitals along the Sabarimala route are also being strengthened to help in surveillance efforts.