Swine flu patients need not be isolated

The Navi Mumbai health department has issued guidelines, which say that swine flu patients no longer need to be treated in isolation. Health officials say that the reason behind this move is because they realise that the pandemic can actually be treated as a common type of influenza.

There are only two hospitals in Navi Mumbai that have dedicated isolation wards. They are Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation Hospital in Vashi and Dr DY Patil Hospital in Nerul.

Taking cover: Navi Mumbai saw its first case of H1N1 recently when a mother and daughter from Koperkhairane tested positive. Representation Pic

Navi Mumbai saw its first case of swine flu recently this monsoon when a mother and daughter from Koperkhairane were tested positive and were admitted to a private hospital in Vashi.

"There are dedicated isolation wards at two hospitals in the city but then as per recent guidelines if patients are not in a critical condition then they could be treated at private hospitals, but not in isolation. Only patients in Category A, who are in a serious condition and need isolation, could be put in the isolation ward," a senior official, from NMMC health department told MiD DAY.

Dr Chandrashekar Tulsigeri, intensivist from Fortis Hospital in Vashi, where both patients were admitted said, "Both patients were admitted on August 5 with complaints of fever, sore throat, cold, malaise, nausea, vomiting, body ache and generalized weakness. Specific antiviral medication was administered from day of admission itself. Isolation and infection control protocols were implemented and intensified on suspicion of swine flu, which was later confirmed on investigations."

In June this year the NMMC health department printed about one lakh pamphlets to create awareness about various kinds of air-borne and water-borne diseases. Last year, during the monsoons alone 27 persons were detected with swine flu while there were 98, who were suspected of having contracted the flu. On June 13, 2012, a teenager was detected with swine flu and succumbed to the virus. However, this time since the onset of the monsoons these were the first two patients to be detected with the virus as per the NMMC records.

Symptoms of the flu
>> Prolonged fever coupled with cough and cold
>> Trouble in breathing (breathlessness)
>> Continuous throat pain
>> Continuous vomiting

Persons more prone to the illness
>> Those on steroids
>> Pregnant women
>> People having low immunity
>> Persons of extreme age (those below 5 years and those above 65 years)

Dos and don’ts pertaining to the flu
>> Cover your mouth while coughing
>> Avoid crowds or human gatherings
>> Wash hands before eating and after visiting the toilet
>> Wash hands after coughing

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