Center team in state to help contain H1N1 | News from Chandigarh



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Chandigarh: In view of rising swine flu cases and deaths due to illness, the Union Health Ministry has sent a team to Punjab to assess the situation and help states strengthen their response mechanism to contain the disease.

While 30 deaths and 301 cases were reported from Punjab until February 7, according to data shared by the ministry of the Union. The team includes a microbiologist, an epidemiologist and a clinician.

The number of deaths caused by the swine flu in the country rose to 226, with the H1N1 virus causing 31 more deaths in a week until Monday, while the number of people infected surpassed the mark of 6,000.

The health ministry shared the guidelines for influenza vaccination and the details of the vaccine manufacturers provided by the General Drug Controller of India (DCGI) were shared with the state health authorities. The DCGI was asked to monitor the availability of Oseltamivir, the drug recommended by the WHO in several states.

The state health department has also been advised to involve district collectors in raising public awareness and response to outbreaks.

Punjab's National Program for Vector Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) Dr Gagandeep Singh Grover said that the deaths have seen more people with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and other diseases. The ministry recommended vaccination for health professionals and other priority groups.

All hospitals – both government and private – were asked to have special songs so that suspected cases of swine flu are examined as soon as possible. All suspected or confirmed influenza cases should be kept in isolation to prevent any spread of the disease. Hospitals were also asked to report to the health department on confirmed cases of swine flu reported at their institution.

Regular videoconferences are being held with the states to monitor the situation.

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