FINDING ITS own doctors suffering from swine flu, the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has started taking measures to prevent the possible spread of the disease on campus.
The north India’s premier medical hub has already four doctors tested positive for swine flu. However, the doctors are stable, according to officials.
A senior PGI official told Chandigarh Newsline that “voluntary vaccination” had been started for the PGI staff. “We have communicated to the doctors and other staff who are deputed in high-risk areas to get the vaccination done at the institute only. Vaccines have been given to more than 130 staff so far and the process is on. The doctors and the staff posted in the communicable diseases ward are given necessary equipment as well so that they don’t catch the infection,” said the official. “All measures are being taken by the institute so that it doesn’t spread.”
The officials said that instructions had already been given to the doctors to take preventive measures in view of the swine flu. The PGI doctors said that it was very difficult to figure out how the victims acquired the infection. The health officials, however, believe that huge patient inflow to the institute could be a reason for the swine flu.
“In all the swine cases from PGI, we have found no travel history. There could be a possibility that the doctors may have acquired the infection within the hospital because a huge number of people visit the institute on a daily basis,” said Dr Gaurav Aggarwal, anti-malaria officer, Chandigarh health department.
According to health department sources, out of the four doctors, one lives within the campus while the three doctors are living in different sectors of the city.
A doctor privy to the cases said that the affected doctors were from the departments of internal medicine, psychiatry, paediatrics and nephrology. “All the doctors who are affected see their patients in the OPDs. It is very difficult to comment where they acquired the infection,” said the doctor.
The total number of swine flu cases has reached 12 now. A PGI doctor was found swine flu positive at the institute on Thursday. Earlier, three doctors were found positive for the virus. Two swine flu deaths were reported in the city as well.
During a meeting between the Chandigarh Health Department and representatives of various medical institutions in the city, senior health officials had said that city hospitals, including PGI, should take preventive measures in view of increasing swine flu cases.