Audit panel to discuss suspected H1N1 deaths

The death audit committee will meet to determine the cause of the deaths due to suspected H1N1 flu, Dakshina Kannada District Health Officer (DHO) Ramakrishna Rao said on Wednesday.

The members of the committee will meet on Monday to determine the exact cause of the deaths of the four people in Dakshina Kannada, he added.

He told reporters in his chambers that 30 cases had tested positive for H1N1 in the district and among them four had died of suspected infections. Three patients with the symptoms are undergoing treatment at private hospitals in the city while 23 patients had recovered from the flu and had returned home.

The death audit committee, comprising the DHO, the district surgeon, the taluk health officer, two experts and the doctors who treated the patients will verify the case history of the patients with the reports from the laboratory before arriving at a conclusion on the cause for the death. Mangaluru taluk has topped, with 26 cases of H1N1.

The DHO said that 260 samples in Mangaluru were tested for H1N1, while 22 samples from Puttur and six from Sullia tested negative. “The density of population in Mangaluru taluk may be one of the reasons for the increase in the cases. There is a possibility of the flu spreading through cough and sneezing,” he said.

“The Health Department will step up its surveillance in areas where cases had been detected through Asha workers, health officials and ANMs. Awareness will be created among the people on the precautionary measures to be taken to check the spread of the disease. A workshop will also be conducted in taluks for the doctors,” the DHO said.

Dr Rao said that the weather condition was also conducive to the spread of infection. “The virus does not thrive in summer. The throat swabs of the suspected patients had been sent to Manipal for testing,” he explained.

The DHO said that there was sufficient stock of Tamiflu medicine in all primary health centres, community health centres, taluk hospitals and the District Wenlock Hospital.

Money has been sanctioned to all PHCs and CHCs under the National Health Mission (NHM) for purchase of medicine during any emergency, he added.

Watch out for H1N1

Symptoms:

High fever, lethargy, sore throat, cold, severe vomiting, diarrhoea, cough and difficulty in breathing

Precautions to be taken:

* Cover nose and mouth with tissue paper or handkerchief while coughing and sneezing

* Wash hands with soap and water before and after touching nose, eyes and mouth

* Get good sleep and manage stress effectively

* Take plenty of rest and fluids, eat nutritious food to enhance immune system

* Spend less time in crowded areas, wear mask, maintain distance with persons infected by the flu

* If H1NB1 becomes pandemic, avoid crowded places

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Audit panel to discuss suspected H1N1 deaths

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