‘India fully geared to contain swine flu’

May 13th, 2009 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, May 13 (IANS) India’s health system is fully prepared to tackle the influenza A(H1N1) virus, commonly known as swine flu, if any cases are reported in future, the director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said here Wednesday and urged people not to panic unnecessarily.
“The country’s health system is fully geared to meet any eventuality so far as the spread of H1N1 flu is concerned and there is absolutely to need for panic on this front,” ICMR director general Vishwa Mohan Katoch told IANS here.

Katoch stressed that unlike the avian flu, which spread through birds, there was so far no evidence to suggest that pigs had anything to do with swine flu, though many people harboured the misconception due to the name.

“Our chief concern at the moment is to prevent its human to human spread as there is so much of air travel these days,” he said.

“Actually flu virus is always present, may be in a mild form, but now its recombined form has taken a deadly turn in 30 countries, particularly in the US and Mexico. We had a similar epidemic in 1918, then in 1957, 1967 and in 1997 we had the avian flu. But luckily our research and health agencies are fully prepared to deal with the problem this time. Necessary precautions are being taken at all levels,” Katoch explained.

“Everyone entering India from any of the airports is fully screened. We are confident we would be able to contain the virus… I have no hesitation in saying that I feel proud to be part of one of the most efficient health systems in the world,” he said.

Katoch was in Agra to deliver the keynote address at a symposium on swine flu at the Jalma Centre here, which does pioneering research work in leprosy control.

Katoch said 99.99 percent patients of this flu are effectively treated with Tamiflu drug.

“What we need to remember, however, is that proper hygiene and cleanliness of our surroundings could be very effective antidotes, and for this voluntary groups should come forward and help,” the expert added.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health |