JK ill-prepared to handle Swine flu

‘30 suspected cases in Kashmir’


Srinagar, Feb 12: Despite 407 people dying of Swine flu and more than 5000 people testing positive for it across India, the JK is still without any facilities to handle the threat.

Dr Showkat Zargar while talking to Greater Kashmir confirmed that more than 30 people were suspected to have got infected due to Swine flu.

Stakeholders are concerned about the fact that there is no isolation ward for the suspected cases of Swine flu and the patients with H1N1 infection like symptoms are being sent home. “These people need to be isolated till their status is confirmed. They pose a threat to the community as they can spread virus while they interact and intermingle normally with the masses,” said a medico.

It may not be the same virus that was there in 2011. It is still being studied,” said Dr S M Kadri, a senior epidemiologist and Swine Flu In charge at Directorate of Health Services Kashmir.

However, in spite of this uncertainty, Director Health Services Kashmir said, “People are safe here because we do not live in clusters and have better nutritional status. There is no need to panic.”

He added the directorate is taking adequate steps which includes a meeting with Director SKIMS every ten days and advisories to BMOs and CMOs. The high rate of transmission has not made a difference in the planning at the premier hospital of the state as it has ‘designated beds’ in the wards for the swine flu cases.

The fact that Swine Flu patients would be housed with other patients and not in an isolated ward is dangerous, said an expert.

“A person admitted in a hospital has decreased immunity. Having a swine flu threat just in the next bed is risking their lives,” said an expert.

“The state needs to gear up its machinery and preempt the outbreak. Suspected cases can soon be declared confirmed cases,” Dr Majid, a senior doctor said.
Swine Flu, also known as H1N1 virus, made headlines in 2009 when it was declared a pandemic. The symptoms of Swine flu are very much like those of regular influenza like chills, fever, coughing and sore throat.



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