Alert sounded after season’s first swine flu case reported
The Uttarakhand health department has directed its officials in all districts to monitor closely outbreaks of H1N1 virus after Dehradun reported the season’s first such casedehradun Updated: Mar 01, 2017 21:29 IST
The Uttarakhand health department has directed its officials in all districts to monitor closely outbreaks of H1N1 virus (known as swine flu) after Dehradun reported the season’s first such case.
“Officials in all the districts have been asked to remain on alert and ensure availability of separate beds for suspected patients. Stocks of antiviral drugs have also been made available at all the district hospitals,” director general of health Dr DS Rawat told HT on Sunday.
Rawat said the health department had already catalysed its teams in mid-December (2016), the period around which the swine flu cases are likely to begin erupting. Though this is just the first case of the season, the department is not willing to take any chances, especially after Uttarakhand witnessed one of the worst breakouts of dengue last year with more than 1,700 people being inflicted with it.
“Sensitization trainings for health staff have been conducted, based on which they have been asked to spread awareness among the public regarding the flu which shares symptoms with common fever,” Rawat said.
H1N1 or swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by influenza virus with symptoms similar to fever, but has the potential to turn fatal in advanced stages.
On Saturday, the health department confirmed the emergence of the season’s first swine flu case. A woman, who is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the city, was tested positive for H1N1.
Health officials believe the patient - a resident of Jakhan area - contracted the virus in Pune where she traveled recently. Samples of few more suspected cases have been sent for test.
Dr YS Thapliyal, the chief medical officer of Dehradun, said teams have been asked to sensitize people about protecting themselves from the virus. Samples of those who were in close contact with the woman patient are also being taken, he said.