Swine flu symptoms set alarm bells ringing

Swine flu symptoms set alarm bells ringing
Highlights

Swine flu virus has made a comeback in the city and claimed two lives this month. Two women patients are undergoing treatment at Gandhi Hospital presently. In what can be termed as an unusual occurrence, the dreaded swine flu (H1N1) virus is affecting people even in summer. Normally, swine flu cases are reported during winter months. 

Hyderabad: Swine flu virus has made a comeback in the city and claimed two lives this month. Two women patients are undergoing treatment at Gandhi Hospital presently. In what can be termed as an unusual occurrence, the dreaded swine flu (H1N1) virus is affecting people even in summer. Normally, swine flu cases are reported during winter months.

When asked if the virus may have become heat resistant as cases are being reported in summer, Dr K Narasimhulu, nodal officer for swine flu at Gandhi Hospital says, “It is difficult to conclusively say if the virus has become heat resistant, but even last year cases were reported in summer months.” While the swine flu cases in government hospitals get reported many in private hospitals go unnoticed.

Private hospitals too are receiving patients with symptoms of swine flu. Rakesh, a representative of a corporate hospital, said that though unprecedented, quite a few swine flu cases were reported. What is worrying doctors at government hospitals is that patients are referred to government hospitals at a critical stage.

A senior official at the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) where swab samples are tested said that corporate hospitals need to initially send samples, so that lot of lives could be saved. It may be mentioned that prior to 2014 corporate hospitals were charged Rs 3,500 for tests, but the government made the facility free after a number of swine flu cases were reported in 2014 and 1015.

A woman was brought to Gandhi Hospital from Global Hospital a few days ago as the family could not afford corporate hospital fee. She tested positive and has been undergoing treatment. On Tuesday a 65-year-old patient named G Rajaiah who complained of breathing problems was shifted to the disaster ward at 2 pm. Samples have been sent and the report is awaited.

Doctors say that when a patient complains with usual symptoms of fever, cough, body ache and weakness a swine flu test should be conducted; it would go a long way in effective treatment. Since August 2015 till March 21, 2016, 5614 samples were tested out of which 654 were found to be positive.

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