Double impact: Dengue, swine flu attack Chennai, TN

Chennai: Around five people from Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram have reportedly been diagnosed with swine flu (H1N1 virus) and are undergoing treatment in various government and private hospitals.

Speaking to News Today, Director Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Dr K Kolandaswamy, said, “10 – 15 patients showing signs of H1N1 fever from several parts of Tamilnadu have been reported so far. Since common cold and fever are the generic symptoms, around 20 cases are undergoing active treatment across the State.”

On the course of treatment, he stated: “Regular dosage of oseltamivir, an anti-viral tablet, is prescribed to them and for those who come along with the patients, contact treatment is being given to prevent the fever from spreading. We are encouraging the patients and caretakers to follow strict basic hygiene. Handwashing is actively promoted as the flu is spread when someone comes in contact with the patient.”

“It has been analysed that the fever has been reported the most in crowded cities like Chennai, Vellore, etc. All the government hospitals have been stocked up with lakhs of anti-viral medicines and the private hospitals are also equipped to handle the situation,” he added.

TWINS DIE

Sources from Egmore Institute of Child Health (ICH) said that twins, aged six, from Kolathur, on the fifth day of fever were admitted to the hospital on Saturday evening. It was informed that they came with several complications and passed away in 24 hours of admission.

“We have only recorded that the children had Viral hemorrhagic fever. One of them suffered convulsions and the other had bleeding. The dengue tests are yet to arrive even though it does look like denuge symptoms. We could have saved the children had they been brought to our notice at least on the third day,” said a doctor from ICH, Egmore.

“We have directed the doctors from ICH to submit a detailed report of the case and we will be conducting an audit once we receive sufficient information,” said Dr K Kolandaswamy.

Meanwhile, State Health Secretary Dr Radhakrishnan today asked people not to be panic and the government is taking all measures to control the spread of fever. “Enough medicines are in stock,” he added.

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

The government has asked people to adhere to the following sanitation measures:

Covering nose/mouth with a cloth while coughing/sneezing to prevent the virus from spreading.

Washing hands when someone gets in contact with ailing patients.

Elders suggested to avoid travelling often to crowded places.

Avoid touching mouth or nose without cleansing your hands well.

Maintain the surroundings clean and sanitise the room or objects used by H1N1 patients

WHO ARE AT RISK

Pregnant women, children aged under five and patients with low immunity and respiratory disorders are at high risk of acquiring swine flu

Bhavani Prabhakar