Pune maybe declared H1N1 cluster

Pune maybe declared H1N1 cluster

Deserted: A restaurant in a shopping mall after Maharashtra government’s decision to close all malls and multiplexes for three days in the wake of rising  numbers of swine flu cases, in Mumbai on Thursday. Pti

“The way infection is spreading, there is a strong possibility of H1N1 clusters in Pune,” said R K Srivastava, the director general of the health services at the Union health ministry.

A cluster means a large number of people being infected indigenously in a localised area. Once an infectious disease cluster is identified, the area needs to be physically cut off from the rest of the city with everybody leaving just outside the boundary of the cluster will be given Tamiflu as a precautionary measure.

“Cluster formation is the culmination of viral load in the community,” Srivastava said.
The H1N1 virus is showing no signs of relenting. Till Thursday evening India reported 1,283 positive cases with 20 deaths. In the last 13 days 316 cases and 12 deaths were reported from Pune.

Mumbai was second in the chart with 126 cases and two deaths. On Thursday 90 new cases were reported and Kolhapur became the fourth Maharashtrian town to report the H1N1 virus. There are nine indigenous cases from Bangalore and one from Mangalore in the last 24 hours.

The swine flu epidemic was discussed in the Union Cabinet which received a detailed briefing from Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The PM told his Cabinet colleagues that there is no need to panic as there is enough stock of the medicine. “People should not rush to the hospital,” Singh said.

PM’s advice
Elaborating on the PM’s advice, Srivastava said testing of each and every individual was not necessary. “Laboratory testing is gradually becoming less important whereas identification and treatment of symptomatic patients becoming vital,” he said. The DGHS made it clear that it should be left to the doctors in hospitals to decide whose samples will be tested and who have to be admitted in the hospital. The new guidelines have been given to Maharashtra and Delhi governments which deal with the maximum number of swine flu cases.

“Children, elderly, pregnant women and patients with ailments like acute respiratory distress syndrome, diabetes and bronchial asthma have to be admitted even if they have slight lower respiratory tract infections,” Srivastava said.
The Maharashtra government has put in place a three-tier system. Those with mild fever and sore throat are being asked to go home and observe the symptoms while people with acute fever and pharyngitis are being given Tamiflu, said Shiv Lal, director of National Institute of Communication Diseases, here.

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