State asks health dept to start tracing H3N2 patients and their contacts
Shinde said that early detection and early treatment is the key to stopping its spread, thus those found infected with any type of influenza should start treatment without any delay. He also asked the people to wear face masks if they are having cough or symptoms of influenza
Mumbai: In order to prevent the outbreak of the H3N2 virus, chief minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday directed the state health department to start a survey to trace patients that are positive for H3N2, a subtype of Influenza A virus. He held a meeting to review the outbreak of H3N2 cases in the state and directed the health department to trace the contacts of the positive patients to curb transmission of the disease. Shinde also appealed to the infected persons to wear masks and avoid public places.
The directives were issued after it came to light that the H3N2 positive cases rose to 119 between January 1 and March 15 from 58 declared by the state on Thursday.
Shinde said that early detection and early treatment is the key to stopping its spread, thus those found infected with any type of influenza should start treatment without any delay. He also asked the people to wear face masks if they are having cough or symptoms of influenza.
“Start conducting a survey to trace patients positive to H3N2 and also those who came in contact. Ask people to start taking treatment if they have symptoms of influenza. Those who come in contact with an H3N2 positive person and if develops any symptoms then he or she should immediately start treatment as per the doctor’s advice,” the chief minister said in a statement issued here.
Those who are coughing should start wearing face masks and avoid visiting public places, he added.
According to a release issued by the state health department, the total number of positive patients with H1N1 is 324 and H3N2 is 119 and those admitted to hospitals are 73.
Sanjay Khandare, principal secretary, of the health department said, “All those symptomatic to influenza will be tested for H3N2 and will be isolated if found positive. For this isolation, wards will be made in the hospitals. Those who came in contact with positive patients will also be asked to take precautions if they were not found positive for the virus.”
CM Shinde also directed to refer H3N2 patients to private hospitals if they are unable to get proper treatment in the wake of the ongoing strike of Class 3 and 4 employees of the state government. “CM directed that the treatment cost of such patients will be borne by the state government,” said a senior official, who attended the meeting.
On Wednesday, the state health minister Tanaji Sawant said that the state saw two suspected deaths due to H3N2 in the last seven days. The deceased is a 23-year-old MBBS student from Ahmednagar who was also found positive for Covid-19 and a 72-year-old man from Nagpur with co-morbidities. However, on Thursday, the state health department in a statement confirmed that the death audit committee found that the deceased from Nagpur did not die from the H3N2 virus.