Private hospitals asked to report A (H1N1) case

The Department of Public Health on Monday asked private hospitals in Coimbatore to report to it cases of A (H1N1) influenza, after a 75-year-old man from Tirupur district died here on Sunday. Surveillance has been tightened in both Coimbatore and Tirupur districts.

At a meeting with the heads of major hospitals, Joint Director of Public Health Sukumaran and Deputy Director S. Senthilkumar said private healthcare centres could also create isolation wards to treat flu cases. But, they must ensure that their medical and paramedical personnel had enough protection from the flu virus.

The special ward at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital was also in a state of preparedness and a special team of doctors and paramedical staff was formed on Monday to deal with any spurt.

When Coimbatore reported a widespread occurrence of the flu in 2009-10, treatment was permitted only in the isolation ward of the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital.

Private hospitals could treat the cases now, but would certainly have to report these to the Government health officials as measures to prevent the spread in and around the residence of the patients would have to be taken.

“We are taking precautionary measures. But, there is no reason to fear an outbreak,” Dr. Senthilkumar told The Hindu. The occurrence in the previous years might have helped build immunity – either because of the preventive vaccine or the treatment already undergone by the flu-affected.

“We have administered 70,000 doses of vaccine after the flu surfaced for the first time and many cases were treated with Tamiflu drug. Therefore, there are chances of only sporadic cases in Coimbatore,” he said.

Dr. Senthilkumar said the Tirupur case held no threat of a spread as it seemed to be an isolated one. “None at the deceased’s residence showed symptoms of the flu. There is no cluster of cases,” he said, based on the information from health officials in Tirupur district.

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