CUTTACK: The SCB Medical College and Hospital here is set to open its swine flu ward within next two days as the State Government put health institutions on alert over possible spread of H1N1 virus.
The first case of H1N1 in the State was confirmed on Saturday following tests on a resident of Khurda, admitted to a Bhubaneswar hospital. This has led the Government to direct medical colleges, DHHs and other designated hospitals to activate their isolation wards and treatment facilities with immediate effect.
The SCBMCH, the nodal centre for H1N1 in the State, has decided to open the swine flu ward at the newly established isolation facility near the TB and Chest Department. The isolation ward with eight beds was planned to be used as the quarantine unit for Ebola.
“As the Ebola threat has subsided, we are going to use it for H1N1. The facility is almost ready and some critical care equipment are being installed. We will make it functional with next couple of days. If there is a surge in cases, we have also planned to put the pulmonary diseases ward into use,” said superintendent Prof PK Rath.
The Health Department has also swung into action after detection of the first case. Health Secretary Arati Ahuja on Sunday reviewed the preparedness to counter any possible spread of H1N1. There is enough stock of medicines and protective gear like masks to deal with the situation.
With H1N1 appearing to be spreading in States like Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, flow of people from the affected regions will be monitored.
H1N1 has claimed five lives in New Delhi this year. The private hospitals have been asked to report every suspected or confirmed case to the Health Department.
A control room has been set up for monitoring the situation while training and reorientation of medical staff at all levels would be conducted.
First surfacing in Odisha in 2009, H1N1 had claimed around 31 lives and afflicted 120 between 2009-10 and 2010-11. However, the latter years have not seen any severe outbreak with 2011-12 reporting only two deaths and 2013-14 one.