Chandigarh enhances surveillance to prevent H1N1

June 17th, 2009 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, June 17 (IANS) After the detection of seven confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza among students in the neighbouring state of Punjab, the Chandigarh health department has geared up its surveillance to counter any possible threat here.
“We are working in coordination with the education department. We have directed the Director Public Instructions to provide a list of schools and names of students who were sent abroad on educational tour or on a student exchange programme in the last few weeks,” Director of health and family welfare department Manjit Singh Bains told reporters here Wednesday.

He said senior medical officers of all hospitals and dispensaries were alerted to especially focus on those patients who recently returned from affected countries.

“There is no need to panic as sufficient anti-viral drugs are available. The isolation wards at PGIMER (Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research) and at government hospitals in Sector 16 and 32 are well-equipped to treat the patients.”

“Special instructions have been issued to the para-medical staff working in the field, particularly in the slums, to keep a close watch on the symptoms of flu and to bring such cases to the notice of the nearby dispensary. Special teams have been trained to find out the infected cases,” said Bains.

So far five patients with symptoms of swine flu were admitted in the city hospitals but all of them tested negative.

The recent case is of a woman who was admitted here in a government hospital Tuesday with symptoms of swine flu and her blood samples were sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), New Delhi, for tests.

“She had reached Delhi from the US June 12 and had come to Chandigarh to meet her parents. She had approached us yesterday (Tuesday) on her own. She has been kept in an isolation ward and we are waiting for her test reports,” said a senior health official.

The health department here has also established a special helpline to attend the queries regarding swine flu.

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