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Updated: October 10, 2009 18:40 IST

Rajasthan gears up to contain spread of swine flu

Special Correspondent
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File picture of a child dressed up to create awareness about swine flu in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
PTI File picture of a child dressed up to create awareness about swine flu in Ajmer, Rajasthan.

Growing incidence of swine flu cases in various parts of the State has made the Rajasthan health authorities gear up for preventing the spread of the disease, which they fear might pose a greater challenge with the onset of winter. The State has so far reported four casualties from swine flue while 35 patients have been treated successfully.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, expressing concern over reports of the disease coming from Jodhpur and Udaipur apart from Jaipur, asked the State Principal Secretary (Medical and Health) G.S. Sandhu on Friday to convene a meeting of all the Chief Medical and Health Officers heading the districts here next Tuesday. The Principals of all the medical colleges in the State along with the Principals of the attached medical colleges and joint directors of the Medical and Health Department have also been asked to attend the meeting.

Rajasthan would soon have its own testing facilities for H1N1 with the new laboratory in the Sawai Man Singh Hospital getting ready for operation from next Wednesday. Presently the samples from suspected H1N1 patients go to Delhi for testing.

“The samples from the suspected patients need not go to Delhi for testing any more,” said Director (Medical and Health) O. P. Gupta. Moreover, two private companies operating testing laboratories in Jaipur have been given permission to collect swine flu samples while nine drug stores in various parts of the State have been authorised to dispense drugs to treat the H1N1 virus, he informed. The authorities have asked the medical colleges in the private sector also to make preparations to combat swine flu.

Of the 216 samples collected from suspected swine flu patients in the State so far, 156 have proved negative while 25 reports are pending. Presently four suspected swine flu patients -- two each in Jaipur and Jodhpur -- are admitted to hospitals. Two of the casualties had been in Jodhpur while Jaipur and Udaipur accounted for one each. “It is a heartening fact that there had not been any infection from the 35 confirmed swine flu patients,” noted Dr. Gupta.

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