Three more swine flu deaths were reported on Monday from Rajasthan where state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria became the second VIP to test positive for H1N1 virus.
On Sunday, for mer chief minister Ashok Gehlot had announced on Twitter that he had contracted the viral disease.
The toll reached 52 in Rajasthan after the three swine flu deaths in Ajmer, Jaipur and Tonk districts, health officials said, adding 259 people have tested positive for H1N1 virus so far.
Earlier in the day, Kataria, 70, reached a hospital in Udaipur for medical check up as he was suffering from cold and fever since the last few days. A medical test confirmed it was a case of swine flu. The minister is recuperating at his residence in Udaipur.
Nodal officer for swine flu, Dr Mahesh Dave said Kataria was not admitted to the hospital as his ‘flu status’ is under Category B. The minister has been advised bed rest after being prescribed medication, he added.
Jaipur district collector Krishna Kunal on Monday said the spurt in swine flu cases was due to cold weather, peak tourism season, ongoing panchayat elections and marriages but added that there was no need to panic as it is curable.
Addressing media persons here in Jaipur on Monday, Kunal said there was an urgent need to spread awareness in this regard. People who show symptoms of cold, cough and fever tend to take medicines like paracetamol on their own. They visit the doctor only if the situation continues to remain the same even after two or three days. By then the situation gets worse and the patient has to be hospitalised in critical condition,” he added. From January 1 till date, a total 253 samples were collected in Jaipur district out of which 66 people were tested positive and 19 people have died. The condition of 8 to 10 people is critical, he informed.
If a person suffers from cold, cough, running nose, diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, fever, body pain, difficulty in breathing then he or she should immediately contact a doctor. Especially, if the fever continues even after taking medicines for a day then should contact the nearby primary health centre, community health centre, satellite hospital, district hospital or Sawai Man Singh Hospital, where swine flu testing kits are available for free of cost and the sample can be taken immediately.
He said the medicine — Tamiflu — is readily available in sufficient quantity, while the district administration is procuring medicines at its level too. He said rapid response teams are available and six doctors are deployed round the clock at the control room of chief medical and health officer (CMHO).
The district collector said the education department, integrated child development scheme (ICDS) medical team even at the rural areas would go to schools and spread awareness among children about the symptoms of swine flu and available treatment. Anganbadi worker, Asha Sahayogini and ANM would go door-to-door and conduct survey. The district administration is also asking the teachers and principals of private and government schools to inform children about the flu and precautions to be taken.
He said all private doctors will be informed to continue their line of treatment on cold, cough, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, body and joint pain but if fever persists even after a day of medication then they should immediately give tamiflu and conduct the swine flu test.