With 12 cases of H1N1 being reported from city hospitals since January 1, the Health department of the Delhi government has issued advisories to all government and private hospitals, urging them to report all cases and put in place isolation facilities for patients who need admission.
Government hospitals have also been asked to ensure the availability of adequate ventilator facilities for treatment of the virus, commonly known as swine flu.
Unlike the outbreak in 2009-10 and 2010-11, this year, government officials have not advised vaccination and prophylactic or preventive treatment for patients, barring those in the high-risk category — pregnant women and young children — or those diagnosed with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
The cases have been reported in both government and private hospitals, including Safdarjung, RML and Max hospitals.
“According to the advisory, patients with symptoms of the virus are to be started on Tamiflu even before the confirmatory PCR tests are performed. These cases are to be reported as suspected cases to the Delhi government. If they are confirmed, we will report the final findings as confirmed cases,” a Health department official said.
Eight laboratories including those in AIIMS and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are equipped to perform the test for the virus.
Patients who are diagnosed with respiratory problems such as asthma have also been advised to take preventive vaccination since respiratory complications like Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) are associated with swine flu. ARDS is characterised by a shortage of oxygen in the blood stream and lungs.”
“H1N1 has become an annual event like other seasonal viruses including dengue and influenza. We have informed hospitals that the virus is back in circulation and that they should start procuring Tamiflu, put in place infrastructure to mange the virus,”an official from the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), who is involved in the coordination and the regulation of H1N1, said.