Hospitals gear up to tackle H1N1

Feb 16, 2013, 07:21 IST | Richa Pinto

Following the first suspected case of H1N1 reported on February 14 in Navi Mumbai, hospitals in the city are taking all precautions to tackle the flu

Although the reports of the suspected case turned out to be negative, doctors have advised people to take precautions and avoid self-medication in cases where symptoms relating to the flu persist.

The H1N1 virus has resurfaced due to changing weather. Representation pic

As per Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), the city has 26 screening centres and two among these have special isolation wards. The isolation wards are present at Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Hospital in Vashi and D Y Patil Hospital in Nerul.

One Thiruvenkadam Naidu (65) was brought to Terna Sahyadri Hospital in Nerul on February 13. He was suffering from high fever, body ache, breathlessness and weakness. Dr Vaishali Lokhande, MD medicine, who is treating the patient, said, “When the patient came to visit me on the first day, he had a certain bluish tinge to his skin, which is an indication of low levels of oxygen and his chest was congested as well.

Elderly people, children and pregnant women are more susceptible to the virus. Since the patient was showing symptoms of H1N1 virus, we sent his throat swabs for testing. However, the results were negative.” Naidu’s son-in-law V Shankar, a Nerul resident, said that the family had avoided any physical contact with Naidu as the virus is known to be contagious. According to doctors, the virus occurs in extreme cold or fluctuating weather conditions.

Help at hand
The NMMC hospital in Vashi has an isolation ward with a ventilator reserved for H1N1 patients. There are 11 other ventilators that can be used in times of emergency. There are N95 masks, which are available and given to the hospital staff dealing with the infected patient.

Dr Prashant Jawade, medical superintendent of NMMC Hospital, said, “Tamiflu tablets are available at the hospital. In a suspected case, the patient’s throat swabs are immediately sent to Haffkine Institute for testing and we get the results within three days.

N95 masks are also available at the hospital and given to any person coming in contact with the patient. Throat swabs may not necessarily be sent to government labs and can be sent to private labs also. We have a special helpline number where citizens can call in case of queries.” The isolation centre at D Y Patil Hospital in Nerul has 20 beds reserved for H1N1 patients, 10 for males and 10 for females. The hospital is also equipped with an ICU especially for H1N1 cases.

Six succumb to virus in Pune
AS many as four deaths have been recorded and 12 have been tested positive for H1N1 in the Pimpri Chinchwad area. “One or two patients have been tested positive but there is no drastic rise in the number of those affected,” said Shamrao Gaikwad, medical officer, health, (PCMC). Meanwhile, two deaths have been recorded under the Pune Municipal Corporation jurisdiction.

On January 8, Surekha Sharad Kale (42), a resident of Jalna, was admitted to Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital after she tested positive for the H1N1 virus. Her condition turned serious and she had to be put on ventilator support. However, she succumbed to the virus yesterday, raising the number of deaths in the city since January to two.

Since January, around 49 have been tested positive for the virus in the PMC area. Two people have been put on the ventilator but their condition is improving. Ramchandra Pote, a doctor at Naidu Hospital denied any major changes in the H1N1 virus. “The number of patients is not rising drastically,” he said.

“Only two people have been put on the ventilator till date,” he added. Last year, 501 people were tested positive between April 12 to December in PMC and 35 succumbed to H1N1. On the other hand in the PCMC area only 125 tested positive in same period and 13 succumbed to H1N1.

H1N1 symptoms
>> Breathlessness, throat pain, body ache, chronic illness, sore throat, and chest pain

Dos and Don’ts
>> Stay away from crowded places
>> Keep yourself well hydrated
>> Follow prescribed medication and avoid self-medication
>> Sanitise your hands regularly
>> Do not join work place till you completely recover from flu

Helpline numbers for Navi Mumbai:
>> NMMC hospital, Vashi: 022-27899905/01/02/03
>> D Y Patil Hospital, Nerul: 022 39215999/5907/5910

A Correspondent

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