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Swine flu alert across hospitals

Ranchi, Aug. 5: With the state seeing its first swine flu case today, the nodal officer appointed to check the spread of the disease in Jharkhand said that people with symptoms can approach Infectious Diseases Hospital in Ranchi and 30 other state-run hospitals for clinical examination.

"The Infectious Diseases Hospital on Jail Road in Ranchi and 30 prominent government hospitals across 24 districts are the designated centres where clinical evaluation for the pandemic flu will be done," said Dr Pradeep Baski.

He added that all necessary arrangements had been done to fight the disease in the state and advised the people to follow all safety guidelines such as avoiding mingling in the crowd and overseas travel.

"The spread of pandemic flu can be checked by adopting a scientific approach instead of mobilising masses to approach government hospitals in case of minor symptoms. One should focus on those persons who have returned from foreign tours with severe symptoms. A tab should also be kept on persons who are in contact with people who have returned from foreign trips," he said.

The nodal officer added that the nearest designated test centre of pandemic H1N1 virus was in Calcutta, where samples can be sent on recommendation of doctors.

Till now, four samples from Jharkhand — three from Jamshedpur and one from Bokaro — had been sent for swine flu tests. Of them, one — a youth from Jamshedpur — had tested positive.

A.K. Matho, in-charge of the state control room at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi, seconded Baski, saying that the state had sufficient anti-flu drugs to handle any emergency.

The nodal officer, however, could not give the exact quantity of drug stocked in Jharkhand. "The medicine is at the district headquarters and instruction has been given to doctors to use them in case of emergency only," he added.

According to the new guidelines, private hospitals are not authorised to treat pandemic flu cases. Indra Mohan Prasad Gupta, who owns a private nursing home in the city, said: "We have been left with no option other than referring any swine flu case to government hospitals."

He, however, welcomed the guidelines, saying that it had spared them the extra efforts needed to be taken to check the virus. Source:The Telegraph

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