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Swine Flu : Assam on high alert

swine flu
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GUWAHATI: Following reports of swine flu (H1N1 virus) claiming one life in Meghalaya till Sunday, Assam ’s two diagnostic centres – the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Dibrugarh and the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) – are on high alert.
Talking to The Sentinel on Monday, Joint Director and State programme officer, National Vector-borne Disease Control Programme, Dr Umesh Phangcho said that the national guidelines have been forwarded to all the district hospitals in the State.

Stating that H1N1 vaccine is not meant for the general public, Dr Phangcho said, “It is provided only to individuals who comprise a medical team meant for treating or attending to swine flu patients. We did vaccinate our medical teams meant for swine flu last year, and we’re going to follow suit this year as well. All the medical colleges of the State will readily provide swine flu treatment. The medical colleges in the State will collect samples from patients and send them to the RMRC and the GMCH for diagnosis.”

Dr Phangcho highlighted that personal protection equipment (PPE) and oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug required for the H1N1 treatment, are in store. He said, “We’re not lacking in preparedness. However, for H1N1 outbreak due to ‘droplet infection’ we cannot predict the impending epidemic.” Dr Phangcho further said that patients do not have to rush to the diagnostic centres. “Equipments and required medicines have already been kept in order for ready use in all medical colleges in the State. Once the diagnostic centres detect someone as H1N1 positive, medical colleges are equipped enough to tackle it,” he added.
Notably, swine flu symptoms include fever, cough, weakness and respiratory distress.