Spurt in H1N1 cases triggers panic among citizens

Spurt in H1N1 cases triggers panic among citizens

People flood lab with no symptoms

Spurt in H1N1 cases triggers panic among citizens

Increasing number of H1N1 cases across the State and the City has triggered fear psychosis among the people. Even those suffering from minor ailments like common cold, are insisting on undergoing tests for swine flu, say Bengaluru doctors.

Stating that people flooded the laboratory out of panic even with no evident symptoms, Dr Ravi, Head of the department, Neuro-virology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, said: “When there is a spurt in the cases, people rush to the hospital for silly reasons.”

Dr Ravi, who quoted from the Government of India guidelines for testing patients, stated that it was just patients falling under Category ‘C’ whose samples required to be tested. 

“Not everyone having temperature require to be tested for H1N1. Even viral flu lasts for over a week and has similar symptoms. Only samples of those patients whose condition is critical, those whose symptoms are worsening and those in the ICU need to test for swine flu,” he said. 

With this, he added, the testing kits can be used for those in genuine need. Among patients with minimal symptoms opting for laboratory tests, the reports of genuinely-ill get delayed, the doctors said.

A representative from Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, had expressed a similar opinion in a meeting the Health minister had convened. “Patients, mostly from the higher economic classes insist that the test be conducted despite assurance from doctors that the symptoms are not indicative of swine flu,” she said.

Doctors from various hospitals also insisted that those who fall under high risk category such as patients with diabetes, pregnant women and those with low immunity be tested. 

Another death 

A death was reported on February 2 at Sagar Hospitals in the City. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Officials confirmed on Thursday that it was case of swine flu death on examining the patient’s records. The deceased, Thyagaraj Naidu is a resident of Bhuvaneshwarinagar in the City.

With this, the death toll in the City has gone up to eight. Bengaluru has reported 133 cases of the flu As many as 16 deaths have come to light in the State. On Thursday alone, 45 cases were confirmed taking the numbers to as high as 189. 

Helplines that could be called for information pertaining swine flu are, 104, 080-26676143 or 080-22975684.  

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