In September, a man from Chinthakolla village in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district died due to a suspected case of swine flu. After this, several people began to isolate the village and avoid contact with the people of Chinthakolla. On hearing this, officials from the state’s health department looked into the issue and dispelled fears and rumours in the locality.
For a while now, several people in the surrounding localities have been avoiding any village which reported suspected swine flu cases out of fear of contracting the disease. Chinthakolla is a small hamlet of Mandapaka village in Krishna district’s Kodur mandala. People in the neighbouring regions of Chinthakolla have been avoiding the village, even going as far as to ban the residents of Chinthakolla from using public transport for fear of contracting swine flu.
“We have visited the village with a team of experts and have conducted all screening measures required. The man whom the people suspected to have died from swine flu was not actually confirmed to have swine flu,” said Dr TV SN Shastri, District Medical & Health Officer (DMHO) of Krishna District, to TNM. “Several officials from the health department and I visited the village and conducted medical camps and spread awareness about swine flu in the area.”
The DMHO added that instructions have been given to the administrators of a school to send buses to the children in Chinthakolla. “Yesterday, we heard that the school bus was not coming to take children to school out of the fear of spread of swine flu. So we called up the school administrators and spoke to them to ensure that the transport systems are effective again,” he said.
The team of medical experts also distributed preventive medicines to people and taught them about precautionary measures.
“As of now, there are no cases of H1N1 noted in the entire district,” he added. “The situation is fully under control.”
Swine flu is an infection caused by one of the several types of swine influenza viruses. The H1N1 strain is the most common in India. It spreads through contact with an infected person or surface. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, and joint pains. Earlier in November, it was reported that around 14 people in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district had succumbed to the virus, leading to widespread panic.