A pregnant woman from Nandyal and a 69-year-old man from Panyam died of swine flu on Sunday, taking the death toll to six in Kurnool district.
Speaking to TNM, Kurnool General Hospital Superintendent Dr Chandrasekhar said, “Currently we have 10 people admitted and being treated after found to be swine flu positive. Two of these patients are presently on ventilator support.”
It should also be noted that while most experts state that swine flu is self-limiting, those at risk are the ones who have impaired immunity. This includes young children, the elderly, people with any other known underlying chronic health issues, and anyone on immunosuppressant drugs.
A total of 6 deaths due to swine flu have been reported in the region in the past 10 days, however, according to him, there is no unnecessary cause for alarm.
“We are a tertiary care centre. We have all the necessary equipment to treat and monitor anyone who presents with swine flu. Tamiflu tablets are there, as are N95 masks and a separate ward to tackle the problem,” he added.
For preventive measures, all hospitals at every district and taluk too are equipped with all necessary material.
Officials in the state began taking screening efforts around the second week of October.
Swine flu is an infection caused by one of several Swine Influenza Viruses (SIV), with the H1N1 strain being the most common in India. The H1N1 virus spreads through direct contact, when you touch an infected surface or breathe droplets of coughs and sneezes in the air.
The symptoms include cough, sore throat, joint pains and fever. The state-run Gandhi Hospital, is the nodal centre to treat swine flu patients in Hyderabad in Telangana while citizens in Andhra Pradesh have been asked to report to their closest Government Hospital at the District headquarters.
The nodal agency for testing and confirming swine flu virus for AP and Telangana is the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM), which is said to have received thousands of samples since the onset of the season.
Speaking to TNM, District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO), Dr Prasad said, “We are conducting screening camps at all major bus stations in Kurnool; ie Kurnool, Adoni and Nandyal. They are functioning 24x7 at bus stations and also at railway stations. Similar camps are running at Srisailam and Mantrayalam, where there will be a huge influx of tourists. Required material has been distributed to all district and mandal-level hospitals.”
“We are storing all equipment that is required including N95 masks at community health centres, area hospitals and district hospital along with anti-viral drugs. The confirmation of cases is being conducted at the Kurnool Area Hospital itself with the help of the microbiology department,” he added.
The DMHO also said that the administration was issuing a special caution notice to people experiencing breathlessness, irrespective of severity.
“They need to get admitted immediately. We have got some cases where patients were admitted in the cardiology ward or pulmonology ward but later tested positive for the H1N1 virus. Therefore, we have asked patients to seek medical attention immediately,” he said.
With inputs from Nitin B.