Telangana

City prepares for battling H1N1

HYDERABAD: TELANGANA: 16/11/2015: People stand in a queue for a check-up outside patient block at a government Fever Hospital, the oppressive cool has cool weather the city dwellers of Hyderabad. The patients are seen visiting Fever Hospital with various heat bourne diseases on Monday. Photo: G. Ramakrishna   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

Taking last year’s December outbreak of swine flu in Hyderabad as a yardstick, health officials here are projecting a steep climb in the number of H1N1 cases in the next month or so.

Authorities, however, have cautioned that unlike last year, since this August 80 per cent of H1N1 fatalities have been women, an indication that women continue to remain in the high-risk group. Since August, close to 3,387 samples have been tested at the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) for swine flu, out of which 545 tested positive in the Telangana State and the number of fatalities was 17.

Healthcare workers here point out that the main reason for an anticipated rise in the number of cases is the variation in temperatures, sporadic spells of showers and mass gatherings during the upcoming marriage season.

“Last year, swine flu cases peaked between December and January and this year too we are expecting the same trend to follow. It’s better for the public to brace themselves and take necessary precautions. Swine flu has become a public health issue and all stake-holders do have a role to play,” says swine flu expert and professor of medicine, Gandhi Hosptial, Dr. K. Narasimulu.

Indeed, the severity of H1N1 outbreak was such that the condition of patients who had tested positive for swine flu began to deteriorate within three to five days of onset of symptoms.

The deterioration was swift and anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu and Oseltamivir had become ineffective, thus killing the patients within two days. Between last December and February, over 50 persons had died in Telangana.

In order to strengthen its response to swine flu cases in the next few months in Hyderabad, Gandhi Hosptial, the nodal centre for swine flu, has added one more unit of chest specialists.

Close to eight senior doctors from Chest Hosptial, Erragadda, have been deputed to Gandhi Hosptial, thus taking the total number of doctors for swine fu and other upper respiratory tract infections to 24.

Health officials have advised that high-risk groups, including pregnant women, children below five years and persons with co-morbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension, kidney, liver and heart ailments, have the option to opt for swine flu vaccine.

“A vaccine is a best precautionary measure from H1N1 and any other circulating virus during winter. However, it is recommended for high-risk groups and to be taken only under medical advice,” says Pulmonology Professor and swine flu expert, OGH, Dr. K. Subhakar.

A vaccine is a best precautionary measure from H1N1 and any other circulating virus during winter. However, it is recommended for high-risk groups and to be taken only under medical advice. Dr. K. Subhakar Pulmonology professor, OGH

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 3:39:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/City-prepares-for-battling-H1N1/article10217421.ece

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