On a day when the total number of positive cases for A (H1N1) rose to 154, the State health department chalked out a strategy to take the attack against the influenza A (H1N1) virus to the next level, launching a media campaign to spread awareness among the public and the physicians.

Four spots have been prepared for release in the television media with funds from the State Government’s kitty. The importance of communication key facts about the A(H1N1) virus to allay panic among the public was stressed at a high-level meeting of health officials called by the Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam. It was at the meeting that the campaign materials -- CDs and posters -- were released.

The Principal Secretary, Health, V.K.Subburaj, Public Health Director S. Elango, Director of Medical Education S.Vinayagam, deputy and joint directors of public health and deans of government medical colleges were present at the meeting to take stock of the current position in the state and review the activity.

It was also an occasion to provide orientation on the three categories specified in Central and State protocols -- 1, 2, and 3. While Category 1 and 2 patients do not need diagnostic tests, Category 3 patients comprise “high risk” elements and need to be tested and put on Tamiflu. Category 2 patients also need to be put on Tamiflu, officials stressed.

A total of 65 lakh Viral Transport Media, used to transport samples, have been purchased to take the swabs collected to the King Institute of Preventive Medicine. The government was spending upto Rs. 10,000 on every person who tests positive and Rs. 5,000 for every test that comes negative.

On Thursday, the total number of cases that tested positive was 25, including nine cases in Coimbatore. Of the total number of 154 cases recorded as of 2 p.m., 72 patients had been discharged, while 82 others were being treated in hospital or domestic quarantine.

Mr. Panneerselvam said district hospitals were gearing up to face the situation at the local level. Special isolation wards will be set up and adequate stocks of Tamiflu had already been sent to the hospitals, he added.

The State has tested over 8. 7 lakh air passengers who deplaned from over 5000 flights, and over 7500 passengers and crew members from 97 ships that docked at the ports in the State, the Minister said.


Second swine flu death in Tamil NaduAugust 21, 2009