With two people testing positive for swine flu in Bhopal in December, one of the main challenges before health department in the New Year will be to check the spread of the virus.
The department will especially have to prevent the spread of the flu among schoolchildren, where the proximity increases chances of its spread. Notably, the Centre has already come up with guidelines for schools in this regard.
On Wednesday, sample of a fresh suspected swine flu patient was sent to Jabalpur for testing. Overall six swine flu cases have been detected in Bhopal this year and two people have died due to it. Also, with large number people suffering from winter diseases, swine flu detection is emerging as a major challenge. Till date, over 100 patients have been tested for the flu.
According to chief medical and health officer Dr Pankaj Shukla, the health department is not taking any chances. “Whenever we suspect swine flu, we send samples for testing. Though most of the tests come negative, two have been tested positive this month. In both the cases, the patients were provided treatment,” he said.
Dr Shukla said the health department is trying its best to make people aware about the basic precautions and measures one should take to check the spread of the flu. He said with respect to the schoolchildren, both schools authorities and the parents need to be vigilant.
Given the spread of the flu virus, the schools and colleges —where large number of students from various localities gather — are at a great risk. Union health ministry had earlier come up with broad guidelines for schools and educational institutions, where schools were advised to avoid large gatherings.
The guidelines make it mandatory that teachers begin their class with active screening of each student for symptoms of flu. The guidelines stress that if such student is detected, he/she should be referred immediately to the medical facility of the school. Also, the student should be advised to stay at home for seven days.