Five Indian States On High Alert As China's Respiratory Illness Surge Sparks Preparedness Review

Five Indian States On High Alert As Chinas Respiratory Illness Surge Sparks Preparedness Review

  • In response to a spike in respiratory illnesses, particularly among children in China, states including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu have elevated healthcare readiness.
  • The advisory includes vigilance for seasonal flu, rapid response team formations, and action plans for prevention.

Five states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, have heightened their healthcare infrastructure alert following a directive from the Centre to assess preparedness in light of an increase in respiratory illnesses, particularly among children, in China.

The Karnataka Health Department has issued an advisory urging citizens to be vigilant about seasonal flu. According to the advisory, seasonal flu is an infectious disease lasting five to seven days, known for low morbidity and mortality rates. However, it poses a higher risk to specific groups, including infants, the elderly, pregnant women, the immunocompromised, and individuals on long-term medications like steroids. Symptoms include fever, chills, malaise, loss of appetite, myalgia, nausea, sneezing, and a dry cough lasting up to three weeks in high-risk groups.

Rajasthan's medical and health department has advised staff to remain vigilant, form rapid response teams, and prepare an action plan for disease prevention and treatment. The Additional Chief Secretary of the Rajasthan Health Department, Shubhra Singh, emphasized vigilance for surveillance and prevention of infectious diseases across the state.

Uttarakhand Health Secretary Dr. R Rajesh Kumar issued guidelines for medical teams to monitor symptoms of pneumonia and influenza in children. Gujarat's government ordered all hospitals to stay on alert, with preparations underway in state-run hospitals. Tamil Nadu's Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has urged enhanced surveillance for respiratory illnesses and strengthened facilities to manage patients.

The developments follow a Centre advisory to states and Union territories, urging a review of public health and hospital preparedness measures. The Union Health Ministry emphasized proactive measures due to reports of a surge in respiratory illness in northern China, reassuring that the situation is closely monitored, and there is no need for alarm. Union Health Secretary has advised states and UTs to implement operational guidelines for revised surveillance strategy in the context of Covid, focusing on integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens.

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