Archive for August, 2009

How do people become infected with influenza A (H1N1)?

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Outbreaks in humans are now occurring from human-to-human transmission. When infected people cough or sneeze, infected droplets get on their hands, drop onto surfaces, or are dispersed into the air. Another person can breathe in contaminated air, or touch infected hands or surfaces, and be exposed.

Source: Ministry of Health

Image:  A mother puts on a surgical mask for her daughter as they arrive for a H1N1 flu screening at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in New Delhi Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

Image: A mother puts on a surgical mask for her daughter as they arrive for a H1N1 flu screening at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in New Delhi Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

Revised Guidelines for testing of persons with flu like symptoms reporting at hospitals notified for influenza H1N1

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Revised Guidelines for testing of persons with flu like symptoms reporting at hospitals notified for influenza H1N1

So far, the present guidelines stipulate that a person suspected of influenza A H1N1 need to be referred to an identified govt. health facility. He/she needs to be kept in an isolation facility in that hospital and if found positive, is treated accordingly.

In order to make the testing facility for H1N1 more accessible at large and due to the onset of the Influenza season in the country, it has been decided to revise the existing guidelines.
Under the new guidelines, any person with flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, cold, running nose etc. should go to a designated Government facility for giving his/her sample for testing for the H1N1 virus. After clinical assessment, the designated medical officer would decide on the need for testing. Except for cases that are severe, the patient would be allowed to go home (This was not allowed under the existing guidelines).
The sample of the suspect case would be collected and sent to the notified laboratory for testing. If tested as positive for H1N1 and in case the symptoms are mild, the patient would be informed and given the option of admission into the hospital or isolation and treatment at his own home.

In case the patient opts for home isolation and treatment, he/she would be provided with detailed guidelines / safety measures to be strictly adhered to by the entire household of the patient. He/ she would have to provide full contact details of his entire household. The house hold and social contacts would be provided with the preventive treatment.
Notwithstanding the above guidelines, the decision of the doctor of the notified hospital about admitting the patient would be final.

In case the test is negative, the patient will accordingly be informed.

These guidelines have been issued by the Government in public interest and shall be reviewed from time to time depending on the spread of the pandemic and its severity in the country. These guidelines would however not apply to passengers who are identified through screening at the points of entry. The existing policy of isolating passengers with flu like symptoms would continue.

Source / Courtesy: mohfw

Swine flu India: Centre issues fresh guidelines

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Courtesy:TOI

H1N1: When can private labs test?

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Private hospitals are being considered by the government to start treating swine flu patients with immediate effect. Some are expected to start functioning in the next couple of days.

Source / courtesy: ndtv

How does swine flu virus spread?

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

The new swine flu virus is highly contagious, that is it spreads from person to person. The virus is spread through the droplets that come out of the nose or mouth when someone coughs or sneezes. If someone coughs or sneezes and they do not cover it, those droplets can spread about one metre (3ft). If you are very nearby you might breathe them in.

Or, if someone coughs or sneezes into their hand, those droplets and the virus within them are easily transferred to surfaces that the person touches, such as door handles, hand rails, telephones and keyboards. If you touch these surfaces and touch your face, the virus can enter your system, and you can become infected.

Swine Flu – Will it help to wear a mask?

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

swine-flu-maskInformation on the effectiveness of facemasks and respirators for decreasing the risk of influenza infection in community settings is extremely limited. So, it is difficult to assess their potential effectiveness in decreasing the risk of Swine Flu virus transmission in these settings. However, a well-fitted, FDA-approved mask together with other preventive measures MAY reduce the risk of contracting the flu. Those who are sick or caring for someone who is ill should consider using a mask or respirator if leaving the house becomes necessary.

Source: CDC

Swine Flu – Investigation

Saturday, August 15th, 2009
  • The rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic test is used to scan samples from flu patients to determine if they have the new strain but the current tests cannot detect all the virus subtypes that are suspected of creating the new strain of swine flu
  • In the rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic test, a nasal or nasopharyngeal swab is used to amplify the genetic profile of the virus. A positive test result presumably concludes that the patient is carrying the swine flu but it cannot determine the stage of infection and a negative test result does not conclude that a person does not carry the swine flu virus
  • This test is done in a specialized laboratory and is not done by many clinics or hospital laboratories

How to keep away from getting the swine flu?

Friday, August 14th, 2009
People stand at a counter to get information on swine flu at Sassoon Hospital in Pune, where at four people have died from the virus. — Photo by AP

People stand at a counter to get information on swine flu at Sassoon Hospital in Pune, where at four people have died from the virus. — Photo by AP

How to keep away from getting the flu?

First and most important: Follow simple steps as cough etiquettes (covering mouth and nose with handkerchief or tissue paper while coughing), stay at least an arm’s length from persons coughing or sneezing, avoid gathering and wash your hands frequently. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, he physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick ?

(1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

(2) Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

(3) Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

(4) Try to avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.

(5) If one gets sick with influenza, one must stay at home, away from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. However, if one is having any respiratory distress, one should report to a nearby hospital.

photo credit

The Truth About Swine Flu: Surviving The Pandemic Of 2009.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

The Truth About Swine Flu: Surviving The Pandemic Of 2009. Comprehensive Guide To Swine Flu Including Its History, How It Kills, And How To Treat And/or Survive The Virus As Well As Additional Health Information To Treat And Prevent The Infection Naturally. Click here for more details
“What will you do if you start experiencing the symptoms of SWINE FLU?! Take a stand and act now before it is too late! By reading this life saving guide you will have all that you need to be prepared for this imminent pandemic. “
In September 2005, David Nabarro, a lead UN health official warned that a flu outbreak could happen anytime and had the potential to kill 5-150 million people.

Take a look at some of the MOST RECENT HEADLINES from our major news outlets. These headlines are coming from all major media outlets like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, ABC News, NBC News, CNN News, FOX News, AP Press, Reuters, as well as many, if not all local stations and presses….
  • World Health body raises alert to level 6, we are entering full pandemicSwine Flu Fallout: 1000+ Deaths Suspected, 150,000+ SickenedMarine Tests Positive for Swine FluA Flu By Any Other Name Is Still DeadlySwine Flu Vaccine Could Take 6 MonthsSwine flu epidemic enters dangerous new phaseScientists say Swine Flu’s Movement is Impossible to Predict

    US Declares Public Health Emergency Over Swine Flu Outbreak

    Swine Flu: Asian countries take measures against outbreak

    Texas closing school indefinitely 3rd student w/swine flu

    Deadly swine flu outbreak ‘can’t be contained’

    WHO fears swine flu pandemic imminent

    More than 100 U.S. schools closed because of swine flu

    India: India finally wakes up to swine flu

    Suspected Swine Flu Has College Campus on Alert

    Swine Flu Disease: A Prophetic Sign?

    Swine Flu Is Evolution in Action

    TOO MANY TO LIST!!!!

Some Facts of Swine Flu

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
  • Pork and other pig-derived products (like ham, sausages, etc) if properly handled and cooked do not transmit swine flu as the flu virus is killed by cooking temperature of 160 degree F (70 degree C)
  • As per research studies, any new virus which is able to spread from an animal to a person and then spread from person to person – is always a source of concern as such virus when in human to human transmission can continue to mutate making it difficult to treat
  • Studies also say that a new strain of the flu virus can spread faster because people do not have natural immunity and the development of vaccine to such virus may take months
  • If you have any symptoms then it is advisable to refer to your doctor at the earliest as an early treatment is found to be effective in the cases of swine flu

Treatment for Swine Flu

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
  • Antivirals: Oseltamivir and Zanamivir – are recommended for the treatment and prevention of the infection with swine flu virus
  • If a person gets sick, antiviral drugs, which work best if started within 2 days of getting symptoms, can make the illness milder as well as prevent serious flu complications, and hence, make the patient feel better faster
  • These drugs should not be used indiscriminately as viral resistance to them can occur
  • Severe infections in some patients may require additional supportive measures such as ventilation support and treatment of other infections/complications like pneumonia that can occur in patients with a severe flu infection
  • These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional

Tips for everyone – if you think you have H1N1 FLU

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

EVERYONE SHOULD:swine-flu
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue
when you cough or sneeze
· Wash your hands often with soap and
water or use an alcohol-based hand gel.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or
mouth.
· Avoid contact with ill persons.

Source: http://www.mohfw.nic.in

Swine Flu Video!

Swine Flu treatment, medicines for swine flu.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Antiviral drugs can be used to treat swine flu or to prevent infection with swine flu viruses. The anti-viral medicines oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are being used to treat people with swine flu. Antiviral drugs work by preventing the flu virus from reproducing. To be effective you need to take them within 48 hours of the symptoms beginning. These flu drugs can decrease the duration of the flu by 1 to 2 days if used within this early time period. These antivirals are usually given for a period of about 5-7 days. It’s unclear whether these drugs can prevent complications of the flu. Tamiflu is approved for prevention and treatment in people 1 year old and older. Relenza is approved for treatment of people 7 years old and older and for prevention in people 5 years old and older. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional.

Side effects: Side effects of antiviral drugs may include nervousness, poor concentration, nausea, and vomiting. Relenza is not recommended for people with a history of breathing problems, such as asthma, because it may cause a worsening of breathing problems. Discuss side effects with your doctor.

Self medication: Antibiotics are a no-no. Chances are that antibiotics will not help your flu symptoms. That’s because flu, colds, and most sore throats and bronchitis are caused by viruses. In addition, taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics only cure certain infections due to bacteria — and if taken carelessly, you may get more serious health problems than you bargained for.

Is there a vaccine to treat swine flu virus? No, there isn’t a vaccine yet. But vaccines are being made in large quantities. Clinical tests will begin in August 2009. Depending on how long federal officials wait for the results of these tests, tens of millions of doses of swine flu vaccine could be ready as soon as September 2009, with more vaccine becoming available each month thereafter. The first doses of vaccine likely will go to pregnant women and young children ages 6 months to 4 years, with older school kids to follow.

Source /courtesy: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Health Service, UK website, WebMD

Designated Swine Flu Medical Centers in India

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Below is the first list of designated medical centers for swine flu testing and treatment in India. The government has now allowed private hospitals to treat patients. The list will be updated as soon as the names of private hospitals become available.

Delhi

Yellow Fever Quarantine Centre, Near AAI Residential Colony, New Delhi

[APHO- 25652129, Dr S.K Singh:09868252314]

Influenza Ward, Ward no 5, Second Floor, New Building, RML Hospital, Delhi-1

[RML- 24525211,23404328,23365525- Ext 4328]


Mumbai (Maharastra)

Kasturba Hospital, Sane Guruji Marg, Mumbai-11,Maharastara {Isolation and critical care}

[Dr. Umesh Aigal – 09820935680,022-23083901, 02,03,04]


Chennai (Tamil Nadu)

Communicable Disease Hospital, 87, T.H. Road, Tondiarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu {Isolation Facility}

[Dr. Lakshmi- 044-25912688. M- 09841250567]


Kolkata (West Bengal)

Beliaghata  Infectious  Diseases Hospital, 57, Beliaghata, Main Road, Kolkata {Isolation and Critical Care}

[Dr. Vishwanath 09433392182, Dr. Vishwas -09434009077]


Bangalore (Karnataka)

Dr. Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and SDS TB Hospital Hosur Road, Near NIMHANS, Bangalore-29, Karnataka {Isolation and critical care}

[Dr. S. Buggi – 09448042579, Dr. Nagraj- 09448057093]


Pune (Maharastra)

Dr. Naidu Infectious Disease Hospital, Pune, Maharastra   {Isolation and critical care}

[Dr. Barathe – 09923130909]


Nagpur (Maharastra)

Govt  Medical College and Hospital, Nagpur,Maharastara-444003 {Isolation and critical care}

Swine Flu Ward: 0712-2750730 [GMC- MS -0712- 2750427, 2749311, Dr. Khade- 09422139720]


Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)

Govt. General and Chest Diseases Hospital, Erragadda , Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

040-23814939 [Dr. Prasad – 9849902995]


Ahmedabad (Gujarat)

Civil Hospital attached to Medical College, Asarwa, Ahmedabad, Gujarat-380016

[Dr. Ancheliah – 09426347531]


Goa

Cottage Hospital, Chikalem, Goa  (Isolation Ward)

[0832-2540864]

Goa Medical College & Hospital, Panjim, Goa (Critical Care)

[Dr. Suhas- 09011025066]


Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir)

Govt Medical College, Sri  Maharaja  Hari   Singh Hospital, Karan Nagar, Srinagar-190010, J&K

[SMHS - Dr. Wasim Qureshi – 09419000231] (both isolation and critical care)

Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences,  Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir

[Prof. Dr Bhukhari    09419000318]


Thiruvanathanapuram (Kerala)

General Hospital, Thiruvanathanapuram, Kerala-695025 { Isolation and Critical care}

[Dr. Suresh -  09447030291]

District Hospital, Manjeri;  District-Malappuram, Kerala

[Dr. Ramani – 09447157128, Krishna – 9388014526]    {Isolation}

Taluk Head Quarter Hospital, Perumbavoor, Ernakulum District, Kerala-683542 {Isolation}

[Dr. Rosy Sebastian – 09846948926, Dr. Sudha Karan – 9446505990]


Mangalore (Karnataka)

District  Wenlock Hospital, Mangalore, Karnataka {Isolation and critical care}

[Dr. Prabhudev- 09480015944, Dr. Jagannath – 09448166113, Fax – 08242445664]


Amritsar (Punjab)

Jallian Wala Bagh Memorial Civil Hospital, Ram Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab

[Dr. Kakkar – 09815576862]


Jaipur (Rajasthan)

Infectious District Hospital, Near  Charak Bhawan, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan

[Dr.P. D.Vyas - 0141-2564434, 518392 , 2605148, Dr. Sen - 9887806450, Dr. Girdhari - 9414772483, Dr. Somundra – 9829620508]


Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu)

Annal Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Puthur, Trichy-17, Tamil Nadu {Isolation and Critical care

[Dr. Veerapande – 09443913446]

Dist. Headquarter Hospital, Mannapari {Isolation Facility}

[Dr. Veerapande – 09443913446]


Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)

Coimbatore   Medical College Hospital, Trichy Road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu  {Isolation and Critical care}

[Dr. Kumaran – 09442012555]


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)

Balrampur  District   Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh-226001 {Isolation and Critical care}

[Dr. P. N. Srivastva – 9415181629]


Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

Shree Shiv Prasad Gupta District Hospital, Kabir Chaura, Varanasi Uttar Pradesh {Isolation and critical care}

Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhya Govt Hospital, Pandeypur, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh-221002 {Isolation and Critical care}

[Dr. Kanta Prasad - 9451006046, Dr. R. S. Verma – 09415301513]

- online sources

Swine flu Vs Common Cold – symptoms

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

What are the typical symptoms of Swine Flu and how do you differentiate it from the common cold or the regular flu? The swine flu and the regular flu look identical to most people. Both have similar symptoms such as

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Body Aches
However in some cases the swine flu may cause more discomfort. Patients could complain of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, which are not typical symptoms of Influenza or Flu. People over 65, children under age 8 and anyone with a chronic medical condition are more susceptible to the virus.

What should you do if you Identify Swine Flu Symptoms?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

People who have traveled from the affected countries in the past ten days and show symptoms of influenza A (H1N1, swine flu) like fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing should immediately contact the telephone number given below or the nearby Government Hospital.

IMPORTANT CONTACT NUMBERS:
Outbreak Monitoring Cell (Control Room, NICD): 011-23921401
Websites: www.mohfw.nic.in and www.nicd.nic.in

Steps being taken by Government of India to prevent outbreak of swine flu in India:

  • The strategy is basically to detect early cases among the passengers coming from the affected countries either by air, road or ship.
  • The Government has launched a massive mass media campaign to inform and educate people on dos and donts.
  • Sharing information with public through media.

Important Information for Swine Flu Treatment in Kolkata, India

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

The Union Government has identified the SDS Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital,as the facility at Kolkata, for testing and isolation of suspected swine flu patients. The government has set up a screening facility at the Kolkata International Airport for all the inbound passengers to prevent the spread of H1N1. Doctors from the Hospital are round the clock screening the passengers at the Airport.

Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital,
57, Beliaghata Main Road,
Kolkata
Ph:91-33-23701252

What can I do to protect myself from catching influenza A(H1N1)?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

The main route of transmission of the new influenza A(H1N1) virus seems to be similar to seasonal influenza, via droplets that are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing. You can prevent getting infected by avoiding close contact with people who show influenza-like symptoms (trying to maintain a distance of about 1 metre if possible) and taking the following measures:
· avoid touching your mouth and nose;
· clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated);
· avoid close contact with people who might be ill;
· reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible;
· improve airflow in your living space by opening windows;
· practise good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.

Revised Guidelines for testing of persons with flu

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Revised Guidelines for testing of persons with flu like symptoms reporting at hospitals notified for influenza H1N1
So far, the present guidelines stipulate that a person suspected of influenza A H1N1 need to be referred to an identified govt. health facility. He/she needs to be kept in an isolation facility in that hospital and if found positive, is treated accordingly. In order to make the testing facility for H1N1 more accessible at large and due to the onset of the Influenza season in the country, it has been decided to revise the existing guidelines. Under the new guidelines, any person with flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, cold, running nose etc. should go to a designated Government facility for giving his/her sample for testing for the H1N1 virus. After clinical assessment, the designated medical officer would decide on the need for testing. Except for cases that are severe, the patient would be allowed to go home (This was not allowed under the existing guidelines). The sample of the suspect case would be collected and sent to the notified laboratory for testing. If tested as positive for H1N1 and in case the symptoms are mild, the patient would be informed and given the option of admission into the hospital or isolation and treatment at his own home. In case the patient opts for home isolation and treatment, he/she would be provided with detailed guidelines / safety measures to be strictly adhered to by the entire household of the patient. He/ she would have to provide full contact details of his entire household. The house hold and social contacts would be provided with the preventive treatment. Notwithstanding the above guidelines, the decision of the doctor of the notified hospital about admitting the patient would be final. In case the test is negative, the patient will accordingly be informed. These guidelines have been issued by the Government in public interest and shall be reviewed from time to time depending on the spread of the pandemic and its severity in the country. These guidelines would however not apply to passengers who are identified through screening at the points of entry. The existing policy of isolating passengers with flu like symptoms would continue.