H1N1: Health department issues advisory
Dimapur, March 26
The department of Health and Family Welfare has issued an advisory to all citizens in Nagaland advising strict precautions and practices they are to follow to prevent Swine Flu infection or transmission. The department issued the advisory on March 26, Wednesday in the interest of public health.
1. Students/family members studying or staying outside the state especially in the affected states like Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh etc. should be advised to follow all Preventive and safety measures.
2. People travelling out of Nagaland due to unavoidable circumstances should strictly follow safety measures like wearing triple layered surgical masks, good hygiene, good sleep, good diet & plenty of fluids.
3. Travelers commuting to Nagaland from outside should maintain vigil of their health and report to the nearest health centre at the earliest (should they develop symptoms of cough & cold with fever) ,
4. Due to changes in the weather conditions, the public are advised to avoid exposure to dust & pollution (Especially people suffering from chronic asthma, chronic bronchitis, underlying respiratory disorders, Immune deficiency disorders, pregnant women, children below 5 years of age & persons with organ transplants etc who are considered under high-risk category persons.
5. Vaccination is recommended for the people under High Risk Category (after consulting a registered medical practitioner).
6. Please contact the Chief Medical Officer/ Medical superintendant of the respective district for any query or assistance.
7. Should there be any query, the Department of Health & Family Welfare of Nagaland can be reached at the State surveillance unit, IDSP (DHFW), in Kohima town, Nagaland:
Help Line – 08413095255
Factfile: 2015 Indian swine flu outbreak
Casualties: 1,947 as of March 24, 2015
2015 Indian swine flu outbreak refers to a outbreak of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus in India, which is still ongoing as of February 2015. The states of Gujarat and Rajasthan are the worst affected. India had reported 937 cases and 218 deaths from swine flu in the year 2014. By mid-February 2015, the reported cases and deaths in 2015 had surpassed the previous numbers
The H1N1 virus outbreak had previously occurred India during the 2009 flu pandemic. The virus killed 981 people in 2009 and 1763 in 2010. The mortality decreased in 2011 to 75. It claimed 405 lives in 2012 and 699 lives in 2013. In 2014, a total of 218 people died from the H1N1 flu, India recorded 837 laboratory confirmed cases in the year.
Every year, there was a rise in number of cases and deaths during winter as temperature affects virus. During 2014-2015 winter, there was a spurt in cases at the end 2014. In 2015, the outbreak became widespread through India. On 12 February 2014, Rajasthan declared an epidemic.
By 20 March, according to the data released by the Health Ministry, 31,974 cases had been reported and 1,895 persons had died to the disease.
On 13 February 2015, the Health Ministry began the procurement process of 60,000 units of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and 10,000 units of N-95 masks. A tender for 10,000 diagnostic kits was floated. The Health Ministry on 18 February 2015 said in a press release that there was no shortage of drugs or logistics problems. By 22 February 2015, more than 13688 had been infected and death toll was reported to be 812 in the year 2015.
The President of the North West Chemist Association, Hakim Kapasi said in mid-February 2015 that, private pharmacies were facing a shortage because Oseltamivir was a controlled Schedule X drug and very few pharmacies had the license to sell it.
Aligarh Muslim University and National Law University in Jodhpur suspended classes in mid-February after some of their students tested positive.
In mid-February, the Government of Delhi fixed the price of swine flu diagnostics tests at ₹4,500 and the labs charging more that were issued show cause notices asked to reply why their licenses should not be cancelled. On 24 February, the District Collector of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, prohibited unlawful assembly under Section 144 of the CrPC to prevent spread of the disease.
A paper published in Cell Host and Microbe stated that the virus had acquired a mutation which made it easier to infect humans, and called for real time surveillance with genetic and phenotypic analysis made available quickly, noting “Given the global reach of influenza, there is an urgent need to develop a comprehensive and at least somewhat standardized response to influenza epidemic outbreaks.” This is contrary to the Indian government’s claim that no mutations had been found.
On 2 March, Maharashtra government announced that the cost of treatment of swine-flu patients in the state will be paid by the state government.