Surveillance stepped up for A(H1N1)

R. Sairam
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Eight cases reported in Coimbatore this year

In the backdrop of a confirmed case of A(H1N1) reported in the Nilgiris district, surveillance has been stepped up in Coimbatore.

Medical officers of all government health centres have been instructed to administer, along with their regular medication, oseltamivir tablets (Tamiflu) to all patients having fever or sore throat for more than three days.

Deputy Director of Public Health R. Damodharan told The Hindu here on Thursday that a majority of the cases reported in Coimbatore so far this year were ‘imported’ from other districts. Of the eight, only three persons were from Coimbatore - two from the Corporation limits and one from Pollachi. Of the remaining, two persons were from Tirupur, and one each from the Nilgiris, Thanjavur and Namakkal.

The last case from Coimbatore was reported on February 5 from Periyar Nagar in Masakkalipalayam, which falls within the Corporation limits.

A total of 3,250 tablets of 30-mg dose had been kept ready in Coimbatore along with 4,000 tablets of 45-gm doses and 34,000 tablets of 75 mg besides 100 masks of N95 category and 500 triple-layered masks. The dose depended on the age group of the patient.

Further, he said that the standard procedures for A(H1N1) had been changed from April.

Till March, he said that Tamiflu tablets were administered to family members and neighbours of the patients and hospital staff treating them only after receiving the test report that confirmed these as flu cases. Now, the tablets would be administered to even suspected cases.

Those below five years or above 65, patients with diabetes, HIV/AIDS and others who were on long-term drug therapy besides anti-natal mothers were considered high risk if they had fever for more than three days.

Dr. Damodharan said that during 2012 more than a third of the cases originated from other places.

A total of 243 cases were reported last year, of which 144 were from Coimbatore. Of these, 91 were in Corporation limits, 7 from Mettupalayam and 46 from rural areas such as Mathampalayam (9), Thudiyalur (8) and Sarkar Samakulam (7). Of the remaining 99 cases, 38 came from Tirupur, 23 from Erode, ten from the Nilgiris, 9 from Salem and the rest from other States, he said.




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