State govt alerts all schools on H1N1

State govt alerts all schools on H1N1

Experts not convinced with Centres directive

State govt alerts all schools on H1N1

People with protective masks wait in a queue to be tested for the A(H1N1) virus at the state-run Naidu hospital in Pune on Wednesday. AFPThe basis of the instruction is the belief among authorities here that school students were highly susceptible to the growing threat of the H1N1 virus. Out of 574 swine flu cases in India, Bangalore has registered 54 cases, a majority of which are being treated at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD). Children in the age group of 10 and 14 years seem more vulnerable as nearly 48 percent (245) of swine flu cases reported in India are children.

While a circular of do’s and don’ts was sent out to schools on Wednesday, RGICD Director Dr Shashidhar Buggi was not convinced that home quarantine of people suspected with Swine flu-like symptoms will stop the spread of the disease which has the potential to overwhelm doctors in government hospitals across the State.

Dr Buggi believes “there are a lot of loopholes in the new guidelines which say that a patient who tests positive can be home-quarantined. Who will monitor such patients? We know how hygiene-conscious we are; giving an option of home-quarantine to positive patients cannot be encouraged.”

Criticism of home quarantine arose from the Union Health Ministry’s guidelines of Tuesday which say inter alia: “Any person with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, cold, running nose should go to a designated government facility for giving sample for testing for the H1N1 virus. After clinical assessment, the designated medical officer would decide on the need for testing. Except for cases that are severe, the patient would be allowed to go home.” The State government move came as several leading schools even in Bangalore, which has over 7,000 primary and high schools, told news agencies they were not aware of the nature of H1N1 and had no clue about the steps to be taken to avert the spread of the virus.

2 students of Rida’s school test positive

Two girl students of a school from where the country’s first swine flu death was recorded, tested positive for the deadly virus on Wednesday night, reports PTI from Pune.  

A Class X student from St Annes school tested positive for the virus. A IV standard girl from the same school also tested positive.