BHUBANESWAR: Along with Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and dengue, the threat of swine flu seems to have added to the woes of the State Government forcing it to issue an advisory to the health officials at the district level and authorities of Government medical colleges and hospitals to remain alert to tackle influenza H1N1, which was reported pandemic in the country in 2009 and 2010.
In letters to Chief District Medical Officers (CDMOs), Dean and Principal of SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack, MKCG Medical College and Hospital at Berhampur, Directors of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) at Burla, Chief Medical Officer of Rourkela Government Hospital, Capital Hospital and AIIMS at Bhubaneswar, the Health and Family Welfare Department has asked to strengthen surveillance for influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).
The officials have been directed to collect weekly information from health institutions and analyse the data locally so as to detect cluster of cases before ensuring prompt preventive and containment measures.
Separate screening facilities would be made available for ILI and SARI at district headquarters hospitals (DHHs), Sub-Divisional Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). The facilities would be located in such a way that patients can have easy access of entry and exit without interfering with the main entry and wards to avoid exposure to other patients.
Health Secretary Arti Ahuja has directed to put in place the isolation facility with infection control precautions supported by adequate manpower at DHHs while the medical colleges and hospitals, capital hospital and AIIMS have been asked to be ready with case management facility along with functional ventilators besides triple-layer masks and drugs.
“Apart from following the infection control precaution at screening as well as isolation, the medical officers have to categorise the cases for detection and case management. Do’s and Don’ts for prevention of influenza A H1N1 would be circulated and all medical and paramedical staff sensitised,” she stated in the letter.
Last year, the country had reported more number of cases surpassing the number of affected persons during the period of pandemic. In Odisha, 75 cases were recorded with 13 deaths during October-December, 2015. However, only one case of swine flue has been reported so far this year.