H1N1 Flu: Quarantined 2 return home

10,000 tablets of the Tami Flu kept in stock with the Health dept, says Dr Usha Vasunkar

Twenty-nine year old mother and her 3-year-old daughter who arrived from New Jersey on June 12 were found to have symptoms of H1N1 while being screened at the Bengaluru International Airport. 

Their first throat-swab tested positive for the H1N1 Influenza virus, following which they were admitted and quarantined for 10 days at RGICD. 

Dr Shivaraj from RGICD said that as the patients’ subsequent tests showed negative results, and since they had completed their quarantine period with the course of antiviral drug (Tami Flu), they were discharged.

However, doctors from the Institute advised them to be under house-quarantine for a week, to use the masks and to restrict close contact. They were prescribed with protein supplements and hematinics medication for some days.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, a relative of the patients said both the mother and the child were doing well now. 

Another patient admitted at Lakeside Hospital is also likely to be discharged.

Meanwhile nine persons voluntarily visited RGICD to undergo a check for suspected Flu.  Seven samples of throat swabs were collected including samples from admitted patients on Monday. Previous samples sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune showed negative results.

Adequate stock

In another development, reacting to a Deccan Herald report about shortage of antiviral drug (Tami Flu) at RGICD, Director of Health and Family Welfare Services Dr Usha Vasunkar said there was adequate stock of Tami Flu, where 10,000 tablets will always be kept in stock with the Health department.

She said, "As these tablets are the only remedy available right now, they are supplied to the hospitals judiciously.  There are chances of tablets being misused if supplied excessively and drug loosing the resistance control"

She further said that 400 tablets were supplied to RGICD, 30 to Lakeside Hospital and 10 to Sagar Apollo Hospital.  The new isolation ward in Victoria which will shortly admit suspected Flu cases has already been supplied with 200 tablets.

Apart from drugs, Victoria is also provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including triple-layered masks, eye covers and foot covers etc.

Medical Superintendent Dr  B G Tilak said that the newly renovated isolation (H1N1) ward inside the Victoria Hospital premises has six beds with separate male and female wards with 3 medical staff to monitor.

Lakeside Medical Centre & Hospital RMO Dr  Ravi Raj said that there are seven rooms kept ready for H1N1 patients as of now. If a need occurs, provision could be made for more rooms and a total of 16 rooms are available in the isolation ward.

Health workers infected

Health workers dealing with the infected patients are not immune to the virus. There are now reports that such health workers had tested positive for the virus in Canada, New Zealand and US. 

In the US alone, 26 suspected cases were reported among health-care personnel (HCP) out of which 13 developed infection. Cases of infection spreading from HCP to another HCP were also reported.

On the need for health workers here to take the antiviral drug, Dr Vasunkar said that close contact with patient tested positive are prescribed with Tami Flu which includes co-passengers who had travelled along with the confirmed Flu patients.

She said that such close contacts can be given antiviral chemoprophylaxis (Tami Flu) with one tablet for one day for five days.

Flu remedies asked

Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) has requested the State Government and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to submit reports related to preventive and remedial measures taken to combat the contagious H1N1 Influenza.
The Human Rights  Commission has also asked for the report within two weeks from the date of receipt.

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