THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On a day when the state confirmed the deadly H5N1 strain of virus as the cause of the avian flu outbreak, proving it highly contagious and fatal to humans, the state is put on high alert once again.
While Health Minister V S Sivakumar assured that so far there were no reports of humans beings affected by the virus, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a warning that extra precaution should be taken against the deadly virus.
The government has stressed that precautionary measures have been taken to tackle any possible fever outbreak due to the virus. The IMA Kerala Chapter has cautioned against the spread of avian flu stating that the H5N1 virus had the potential to affect humans with high degree of complications.
‘’Preventive measures and awareness programmes have been launched in the worst hit districts of Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta. We have enough stock of medicines for those who are closely handling the infected poultry,’’ Health Minister V S Sivakumar said.
Confirming that there were no reports of any human beings infected by the virus, the Health Minister said that there was no need for any concern as the government had taken all precautionary measures from day one itself. IMA state president Sreejith N Kumar said instructions have been issued to all private hospitals to take part in the government’s surveillance mechanism.
‘’The virus has been confirmed to be of the deadly H5N1 strain. All measures should be adopted to prevent it from infecting human beings,’’ he said adding that an expert committee of the IMA would meet on Friday and analyse the situation.
In Alappuzha, 62 health teams had visited 11,729 houses and examined about 41,201 persons. As many as 6,750 persons were examined by 20 health teams in Kottayam while 2,234 persons were examined in Pathanamthitta. Apart from this, these persons were also given awareness about the diseases and the precautions that had to be taken. Sivakumar said that all the hospitals were well equipped for tackling any outbreak. Though there is enough stock of the medicine, he said that about 30,000 tablets would be reaching the state on Friday. Apart from this, the government has placed orders for about 50,000 more tablets, he added. Meanwhile, the state nodal officer for infectious diseases, Dr Amar Fettel, told ‘Express’ that the DHS had received communication that the deadly H5N1 strain of virus was the cause of the avian flu outbreak.