CHENNAI: The state Health Department has instructed medical officers to conduct a door-to-door inspection for swine flu in high-risk areas in view of the death of six persons so far this year. The inspection will be conducted in areas where at least four swine flu cases have been reported.
The Directorate of Public Health has also issued fresh guidelines to the Health department officials on control measures.
It has advised the early use of antiviral medication Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and immediate steps to disinfect the people who were in contact with those infected with swine flu. The officials have also advised the public to safeguard themselves by taking measures such washing hands frequently.
Dr K Kolandaswamy, Director of Public Health, has advised people to “wash hands frequently using soap. Also wash hands immediately after reaching home from outside. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth without washing hands. Stay at least one metre away from the infected person”.
Cleaning frequent contact spots such as doorknobs, table surface, arm-rests of chairs, electrical switches and telephones using disinfectants on daily basis will also prevent spreading of the infections, he said.
Kolandaswamy further said that the influenza A (H1N1) or swine flu fever spreads only from person to person. The influenza viruses can live on floor surfaces, doors, and table surfaces for a few hours and can survive up to two days in wet places.
According to a Union Health Ministry data, a total of 232 swine flu cases and six deaths were reported till October 7 in the State. The Drug Control Director has also issued instructions to stock Oseltamivir in pharmacies attached with hospitals. The Director of Public Health has also instructed the medical officers to focus on hospital disinfection protocols.
Kolandaswamy also cautioned people with uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension to be vigilant. “There is no problem for people with controlled diabetes and hypertension, but are at high risk,” Dr Kolandaswamy said.
The Director of Public Health has also requested the people with fever and throat pain to immediately go to the hospital without delay.
"Fever with throat pain is the sign, so people should not delay it; they should immediately go to the doctor,” Dr Kolandaswamy added.