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Health department starts sensitisation programmes for local bodies, schools

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Throwing light: State Nodal Officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project G.S. Naidu speaking on A(H1N1) influenza to representatives of commune panchayats on Thursday. —
Throwing light: State Nodal Officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project G.S. Naidu speaking on A(H1N1) influenza to representatives of commune panchayats on Thursday. —

Staff Reporter

It tells how to take precautions to prevent further spread of flu

PUDUCHERRY: Focussing on containment of A(H1N1) influenza in Puducherry, the Health Department has started to sensitise elected representatives of local bodies and heads of schools on their role in controlling the flu.

After training medical officers, paramedical personnel and rapid response teams, the department has kick-started programmes for members of municipalities and commune panchayats. On Wednesday, elected representatives of the Puducherry and Oulgaret municipalities attended the session. This was followed by a session for commune panchayat members on Thursday.

State Nodal Officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project G.S. Naidu said the department will be organising sensitisation programmes for all headmasters of primary and secondary schools, both government and private institutions, on Friday.

“The panchayat members and headmasters can educate the people to be aware of the disease spread. The programmes tell them how to take precautions to prevent further spread of the flu through non-pharmaceutical methods such as isolation and quarantine,” he said.

The session threw light on the flu, its signs and symptoms, means of transmission, investigation facilities available and treatment. Dr. Naidu said A (H1N1) flu was a respiratory disease caused by Type A influenza virus. The pandemic virus was a recombinant virus and traced the occurrences of the flu in 1918, 1957, 1968 to the present scenario. Talking about their role, he said, “If there is a suspected case in your area, you could inform the medical officers and enquire source of infection and history of contact. Early isolation of affected patients will help in containing the spread.”

He highlighted the importance of preventive measures such as frequent washing of hands with soap and water especially after one sneezes or coughs, avoid touching of eyes, nose and mouth and stay at home in case of symptoms. Dr. Naidu said Tamiflu has been found to be effective in treating positive flu cases and death occurred only due to late treatment or underlying diseases such as respiratory illness, kidney ailments.

Teams

There were two rapid response teams in Puducherry and one each in Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe. Each team consisted of a microbiologist, physician and epidemiologist.


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