Health department sounds swine flu alert in Uttarakhand

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Dehradun, Jan 24 (IANS) An alert has been sounded in Uttarakhand after 11 people died of swine flu in less than one month, mostly in Dehradun, health officials said on Thursday.

“We have issued an alert and are taking all measures that are required in the wake of swine flu cases,” Dr Tara Chand Pant, Director General Health, said here.

Almost one death related to swine flu is being reported after every two days since the first case became known in January.

On Wednesday, a one-year-old child died of H1N1 virus at a private hospital here, raising fresh concern over the rapidly spreading cases in the hill state.

Doctors said though most of the cases were being reported from Dehradun and Haridwar, a couple of people have been affected by the virus in the hill districts of Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag also.

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“HIN1 is like a seasonal influenza which can be cured just like cold,” said Dr Pant. However, Dr Pant said in case the patient is affected with weak immune system as in the case of old age or infants or diabetes, then the condition may deteriorate.

A total of 95 samples have been sent for laboratory tests to New Delhi. Till now, nearly 25 cases have been tested positive, of which 11 people are still admitted in various hospitals in the state including Dehradun.

Three others infected with the virus have been discharged after being treated, he said.

“We are fully prepared to deal with the situation. There are a total of 176 isolation beds in different hospitals in the state where patients with the swine flu symptoms can be admitted without delay. Also, we have enough stock of medicines,” Dr Pant said.

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He dismissed the suggestion that lack of sample testing facility in Uttarakhand was responsible for delays in treatment leading to higher mortality rate and said the doctors have been advised to prescribe the medicines of swine flu immediately in case of symptoms.

–IANS

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