Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Vaccine for Swine Flu

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

EITHNE DONNELLAN, Health Correspondent

THE FIRST 30,000 doses of pandemic flu vaccine for swine flu are expected to arrive in the State next week.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, assistant national director of health protection with the Health Service Executive (HSE), confirmed the news at a press briefing in Dublin last evening, where new figures were presented showing rates of swine flu infection in the community here remain relatively stable.

The first batch of vaccines are being supplied by the pharmaceutical firm Baxter, while supplies from GlaxoSmithKline are expected to arrive around the end of next month.

Baxter has already delivered 200,000 doses of the swine flu vaccine for use in the UK, it was confirmed yesterday.

The vaccines cannot be used until they are licensed, which is expected to take a number of weeks.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health has confirmed a further 13 people were hospitalised with swine flu in the past week.

Its chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said 75 people had been hospitalised to date with pandemic H1N1 flu, up from 62 a week ago.

He said 40 per cent of those hospitalised to date have had an underlying condition that could put them at increased risk of complications.

Overall, he said, 21 people remain in hospital and four remain in intensive care.

However, he stressed that rates of infection were stable. In the seven days up to last Sunday, the GP consultation rate for influenza-like illness decreased to 33.4 per 100,000 people, from a rate of 38.8 a week earlier.

Some might translate this latest rate into around 1,500 cases a week, but Dr Holohan said in scientific terms this probably was not precisely accurate.

“We are seeing a pretty sustained low level of infection in the population over the last number of weeks that’s quite stable,” he said.

Dr Kelleher also said detailed information had been sent to schools on swine flu.

The basic message for schools, he said, was about having students cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, and washing their hands afterwards. Schools should also clean hard surfaces where the virus could linger, such as table tops and door handles, regularly.

To date, there have been 713 laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu in the Republic, and two deaths.

Some 80 per cent of laboratory-confirmed cases have been in people under the age of 35 years.

There have been 27 swine flu outbreaks, eight of which have occurred within educational settings. There was also one in a creche.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

Categories: Health, News, Uncategorized


August 11, 2009 Leave a comment



Of late two cases of Influenza A (H1N1) Swine flu deaths have been reported in Pune & Mumbai and many more critical cases are being admitted in the two cities. The number of Swineflu affected cases are increasing across the country. Currently there is no need for panic, yet it is important to be alert and to be prepared to face such eventuality.

About Swine Flu
The 2009 swine flu outbreak is an epidemic of a new strain of influenza virus that was clinically identified in April 2009. It is a type of influenza A (H1N1) virus and is currently a phase 5 outbreak with significant risk, one level below an official pandemic. This virus is species specific and infects pigs; however they do cross barrier of species and transmit to human. Once this happens it easily passes on from one person to the other.

Signs & Symptoms
Cough, fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body ache, headache, chills and fatigue. In worst cases and complexities, it may further be added with sever illness and pneumonia or respiratory failure resulting to death.

Do the Following
·         No handshake, meaning that greet each other as well as visitors, without shaking hands.
.         Maintain personal hygiene.
·         Practice safe food consumption habits.
·         Cover your sneeze and cough in disposable tissues.
·         Avoid close contact with wild birds / animals. Stay away from the Zoo.
·         As a social distancing measure, avoid close contact with the people having cough and fever.
·         Ensure your regular workplace is kept clean.
·         Immediately contact physician in case of illness and fatigue or weakness.


City Hospital Address Contact
Chennai King Institute of Preventive Medicine (24/7 Service) Guindy, Chennai – 32 (044) 22501520, 22501521 & 22501522
Communicable Diseases Hospital Thondiarpet, Chennai (044) 25912686/87/88, 9444459543
Government General Hospital Opp. Central Railway Station, Chennai – 03 (044) 25305000, 25305723, 25305721, 25330300
Pune Naidu Hospital Nr Le’Meridian, Raja Bahadur Mill, GPO, Pune – 01 (020) 26058243
National Institute of Virology 20A Ambedkar Road , Pune – 11 (020) 26006290
Kolkata ID Hospital 57,Beliaghata, Beliaghata Road , Kolkata – 10‎ (033) 23701252
Coimbatore Government General Hospital Near Railway Station,
Trichy Road , Coimbatore – 18
(0422) 2301393, 2301394, 2301395, 2301396
Hyderabad Govt. General and Chest Diseases Hospital , Erragadda, Hyderabad (040) 23814939
Mumbai Kasturba Gandhi Hospital Arthur Road, N M Joshi Marg, Jacob Circle , Mumbai – 11 (022) 23083901, 23092458, 23004512
Sir J J Hospital J J Marg, Byculla, Mumbai – 08 (022) 23735555, 23739031, 23760943, 23768400 / 23731144 / 5555 / 23701393 / 1366
Haffkine Institute Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai – 12 (022) 24160947, 24160961, 24160962
Kochi Government Medical College Gandhi Nagar P O, Kottayam – 08 (0481) 2597311,2597312
Government Medical College Vandanam P O, Allapuzha – 05 (0477) 2282015
Taluk Hospital Railway Station Road , Alwaye, Ernakulam (0484) 2624040  Sathyajit – 09847840051
Taluk Hospital Perumbavoor PO , Ernakulam 542 (0484) 2523138  Vipin – 09447305200
Gurgaon &
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Ansari Nagar, Aurobindo Marg Ring Road , New Delhi – 29 (011) 26594404, 26861698  Prof. R C Deka – 9868397464
National Institute for Communicable Diseases 22, Sham Nath Marg,
New Delhi – 54
(011) 23971272/060/344/524/449/326
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital Kharak Singh Marg,
New Delhi – 01
(011) 23741640, 23741649, 23741639
Dr. N K Chaturvedi – 9811101704
Vallabhai Patel Chest Institute University Enclave, New Delhi- 07 (011) 27667102, 27667441, 27667667, 27666182
Bangalore Victoria Hospital K R Market, Kalasipalayam, Bangalore – 02 (080) 26703294  Dr. Gangadhar – 94480-49863
SDS Tuberculosis & Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases Hosur Road, Hombegowda Nagar, Bangalore – 29 (080) 26631923  Dr. Shivaraj – 99801-48780
Categories: Health, News

India’s Precautionary Steps For Swine Flu

August 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Swine flu is increasing on a “vast scale” and India is gearing up to tackle its spread, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday of the infection that has killed six people and affected over 850 in the country.

“We have to prepare for the coming months. Swine flu is increasing on a vast scale, and on the basis of the large population of India it is likely that more swine flu cases will occur, and we should be ready to handle it,” Mr. Azad told reporters after holding an almost three-hour-long meeting with senior health ministry officials.

“We have unfortunately six deaths in the country,” he said.

Mr. Azad said ever since swine flu entered the country almost three months ago, the health ministry found that communication with State governments was time consuming and they have decided to rope in senior bureaucrats to assist them.

“The cabinet secretary has decided to provide us some joint secretaries and additional secretaries from other ministries who will be rushed to States along with health ministry teams. These officials will press upon State health officials to identify more government and private laboratories to handle large number of swine flu cases,” he said.

“We have decided to allow private labs to test for H1N1. We have set the guidelines and have sent it to all State governments,” he said.

He said those private labs that adhere to these guidelines should inform the states. “Our people could go and check whether they can do the tests,” he said.

Mr. Azad said a total of 864 cases of swine flu have been reported so far, of which 523 have been discharged, and 341 are under treatment, while six people have died.

The health minister said they have also decided to continue monitoring and screening at the 22 international airports in the country as they have been able to detect swine flu cases at the airport.

He said a total of over 4.5 million people were screened at the airports, of whom 635 were found to be positive. “We will not discontinue it (screening),” he said.

Mr. Azad said four thermal scanners have been installed at the international airports and these have helped detect people with flu-like symptoms.

He said the country has 10 million Tamiflu capsules and the ministry has distributed two thirds of it to the various States. “In today’s meeting, we have decided to stockpile another 20 million,” he added.

Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekar was also present at the meeting.

Categories: Health, News

Protect yourself from Swine Flu – Symptoms

August 9, 2009 3 comments

According to the CDC, like seasonal flu, symptoms of swine flu infections can include:

* fever, which is usually high, but unlike seasonal flu, is sometimes absent
* cough
* runny nose or stuffy nose
* sore throat
* body aches
* headache
* chills
* fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme
* diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes, but more commonly seen than with seasonal flu

Signs of a more serious swine flu infection might include pneumonia and respiratory failure.

If your child has symptoms of swine flu, you should avoid other people and call your pediatrician who might do a rapid flu test to see if he has an influenza A infection. Further testing can then be done to see if it is a swine flu infection. (Samples can be sent to local and state health departments and the CDC for confirmation of swine flu, especially if a child is in the hospital.)
Swine Flu High Risk Groups

With regular seasonal flu, infants and the elderly are usually thought to be most at risk for serious infections, in addition to people with chronic medical problems. Swine flu high risk groups, people who are thought to be at risk for serious, life-threatening infections, are a little different and can include:

* pregnant women
* people with chronic medical problems, such as chronic lung disease, like asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and immunosuppression
* children and adults with obesity

Serious Swine Flu Symptoms

More serious symptoms that would indicate that a child with swine flu would need urgent medical attention include:

* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish or gray skin color
* Not drinking enough fluids
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Swine Flu Symptoms vs. a Cold or Sinus Infection

It is important to keep in mind most children with a runny nose or cough will not have swine flu and will not have to see their pediatrician for swine flu testing.

This time of year, many other childhood conditions are common, including:

* spring allergies – runny nose, congestion, and cough
* common cold – runny nose, cough, and low grade fever
* sinus infections – lingering runny nose, cough, and fever
* strep throat – sore throat, fever, and a positive strep test

What You Need To Know

* Swine flu likely spreads by direct contact with respiratory secretions of someone that is sick with swine flu, like if they were coughing and sneezing close to you.

* People with swine flu are likely contagious for one day before and up to seven days after they began to get sick with swine flu symptoms.

* Droplets from a cough or sneeze can also contaminate surfaces, such as a doorknob, drinking glass, or kitchen counter, although these germs likely don’t survive for more than a few hours.

* Anti-flu medications, including Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), are available to prevent and treat swine flu.

* The latest swine flu news from the CDC includes advice that children should not attend summer camps if they have had swine flu symptoms in the previous seven days and that camp staff should be quick to identify campers with swine flu symptoms and separate them from well campers.


CDC. Swine Influenza and You

Categories: Health, News