Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mumbai: BMC gears up to tackle swine flu

Mumbai, August 03, 2012
The city’s first swine flu death has been a wake up call for the civic body which has now decided to screen patients for swine flu in the weekly (Sunday) health camps conducted in slums and slum-like regions. “Along with monsoon ailments, we will screen patients for H1N1 starting Sunday.

The civic body has decided to sensitise general practitioners as well as doctors in public hospitals about the H1N1 virus. “We will now have to educate doctors on the treatment protocol for H1N1 as we cannot afford H1N1 being mistaken for flu,” said a civic official.

According to Dr Om Shrivastav, infectious disease specialist, Tamiflu medicines are best if given within 48 hours of contracting the infection.
“People should be diagnosed early for effective treatment. Though H1N1 symptoms are similar to influenza, drugs used to treat it don’t work for H1N1,” Shrivastav said.

The BMC has initiated a drive on the lines of malaria control to screen swine flu patients.

“The BMC had good results with the malaria control programme with a nearly 70% drop in cases over two years. So, we have initiated a similar four-point programme for swine flu,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional commissioner, BMC.

Doctors said vaccination was important for high-risk patients such as pregnant women, senior citizens, small children and patients with low immunity. However, BMC officials said BMC did not recommend nor provide vaccines.

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