As People with symptoms of swine flu are not tested at once, doctors fear the influenza A (H1N1) virus may be more ubiquitous than we think.
With three new cases and another human-to-human infection — the Capital’s fourth — doctors say some people are popping pills for cold or antibiotics to suppress symptoms, and come for tests only after symptoms refuse to go. Delhi has 18 infected cases now.
“As soon as symptoms of fever, cough or cold appear in people who have travelled abroad or come in contact with such people, they should rush to the nearest government health facility designated for swine flu and get tested. Taking a paracetamol for fever may bring the fever down for a while, but it won’t treat the disease. You need oseltamivir at a government centre to get treated,” said Dr Anjan Prakash, additional medical superintendent of Lok Nayak hospital and additional nodal officer in-charge of swine flu cases in the Capital.
State authorities agreed 100 per cent containment of the infection was impossible. In absence of any signboards leading to isolation wards, most suspected cases show up at the emergency department of the allocated facility.
In turn, infected people and their families end up using the same car park, corridors and canteens, exposing others to the disease.
Delhi’s health minister Kiran Wali admitted as much. “I myself have visited these hospitals and realised there were absolutely no directions to the isolation ward. I’ll meet medical superintendents of these hospitals on Monday and tell them to put up boards in hospitals directing people towards the designated ward,” she said.