JAIPUR: claimed two more people, one each in Jaipur and Churu, on Thursday, taking the death toll in the state from the disease to 276 this year. Thirty more tested positive for the flu across on Thursday.
The situation is turning grave as swine flu has taken 27 lives, so far, this December. Instead of waiting for flu test reports, doctors in private hospitals have started treating patients with flu-like symptoms by giving Oseltamivir tablets, an antiviral medication used to treat and prevent influenza.
“In serious cases, we do not wait for test reports and start treatment to prevent mortality due to swine flu,” said Dr Adil Aziz, consultant (medicine) of a private hospital.
In Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital, three patients are undergoing treatment in the ICU. Two have already died in the hospital on Wednesday. Besides, four others are under observation.
Health experts claimed that the new strain of virus circulating in the state resembles the one circulating in Singapore. “This is a strain which is not affected due to seasonal changes. It remains active most of the time. However, we have seen that a majority of the deaths in have been of patients who were already diabetic or suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and that of kidneys, lungs and liver. So, such patients are at risk and they should take proper preventive measures,” said Dr C L Nawal, senior professor, SMS Hospital.
With flu cases mounting, the health department conducted a meeting which was headed by health minister and medical education department principal secretary , SMS principal Dr U S Agarwal, health director Dr V K Mathur and additional director (rural health) Dr Ravi Mathur.
After the meeting, the department has issued fresh directions to all chief medical health officers (CMHOs), principal medical officers (PMOs) and joint directors to administer Oseltamivir tablets and syrups to children below five and pregnant women having symptoms of influenza.
Directions have also been issued to screen patients at primary health centres (PHCs). All hostels, ‘dharamshalas‘ and night shelters will also be kept under surveillance. The department went into active mode after seven trainee Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS) officers were diagnosed with swine flu while participating in a training programme at the Officers‘ (OTS) 10 days ago.
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