With four new suspect cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) reported in Government Medical College on Monday, the number has rose to seven giving air to the panic about the pandemic having struck in Jammu.
“We were very apprehensive over the threat looming large here since the state is tourism potential zone and the tourists coming from outside state may come infected,” feared Rahgunath, a shopkeeper, who sat outside his closed shop in the wake of bandh in Jammu.
Three suspect cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus already under observation at Government Medical College await the diagnosis, the result of which is expected on late Monday evening, informed a source in GMC.
“There is no need to panic at all,” said Dr Jasbir Singh, Director Health Services, who informed that the fear among the people is unfounded as the actual bearing of the swine flu in the reported cases is far from what is being preliminarily diagnosed in the patients.
“People need to understand the definition of the ‘suspect’ before sounding the alarm bell. The swine flu case has to be identified through the history of contacts the patient might have undergone with the infected source and besides the area visited by him too has to be taken into consideration before ‘suspecting’ him to be infected with the flu,” said Dr Jasbir Singh adding that the blood samples of earlier cases under observation have been sent to NICD (Delhi) and reports would be available soon.
He said that the patients coming with the symptoms of running nose, soar throat and fever cannot be swine flu only as the prevailing monsoon season invites many such symptoms that are more related to common flu.
However, with more suspects reporting in the hospital, and children and elder likely to be more prone to it, parents have turned skeptic over the threat.
“We want the administration to come up with a quick decision as to whether run the schools or suspend them for time being till the disease is controlled,” said a parent from Lakhdatta Bazar from where a suspect was admitted in the GMC on Sunday.
Director School Education Zahida Khan when queried over any such move contemplated by the government said, “I had a talk with the Director Health over the issue who assured over having a meeting with the Divisional Commissioner before coming out with a decision on it.”
“The region that is already up in arms against government over the Central University issue, swine flu silently and suspectedly making inroads in Jammu now, is another threat, that needs to be fought simultaneously,” said a student Rohan Kashyap.