Published On : Mon, Aug 28th, 2017

Health Alert : ‘Mysterious flu’ spreading faster than swine flu in Nagpur

Nagpur: A sudden spike has been witnessed in the cases of swine flu being recorded in Nagpur. However more worrying is the fact that there are few more deaths reported in the cases which were tested negative for swine flu. Doctors are presuming it as the swine-flu like disease. Meanwhile during the last 20 days as many as 16 patients were found positive for swine flu. Official figures state that so far 98 people have been tested positive for swine flu this year. The trend coupled with this ‘mysterious flu’ causing deaths is rising at alarming pace and calls for extra caution on the part of both the health machinery as well as the citizens.

The major difficulty being faced while dealing with swine flu patients is that as per central government guidelines, only critical swine flu patients should be hospitalized and rest have been advised to stay at home in isolation, even though they could pass on the flu to others. If the trend continues, in the coming days there may be difficulty in accommodating even critical patients in hospitals.

The government has classified flu cases into category A (who can stay at home, but must avoid contact with family members due to high risk factor), category B (who may need Oseltamivir dosage at home), and category C (who may have symptoms like breathlessness, fall in blood pressure, chest drop etc and should be hospitalized).

However, not all patients are careful enough to take proper precautions in case of early symptoms.

A 22-year-old male from Thane, who was recently detected positive for swine flu (category A) travelled to Nagpur. “The boy, who was continuously sneezing, was sitting in my chamber with his father. He was infected with the virus but was taking no precaution like wearing a mask or using a hand sanitizer when he travelled to Nagpur on train. The first thing I told him was to buy a mask. He was advised to come back after three days, and he came without a mask,” said a doctor, adding that such people are exposing everyone around them to the risk of catching the flu.

Deputy director health Dr Sanjay Jaiswal said, “There are some things we can’t stop. We can’t make people stay locked up inside their home. Monitoring such a thing is not possible. However, as a social responsibility, citizens need to take precautionary measures.”

Talking about the swine flu-like contagious disease which is also responding to swine flu treatment to some extent, Dr Jaiswal said, “Patients who show swine flu symptoms are kept in observation and are well taken care of. As per government guideline, the health department is supposed to keep record of swine flu patients who are testing positive.”

In the present scenario, ‘swine-flu-like’ has instead become a terminology among medical fraternity to address the disease.

Talking to a local media KRIMS director Dr Ashok Arbat said, “Of the 10 patients admitted in the hospital in August, only one tested positive for swine flu, while the rest have been showing swine flu like symptoms. As far as deaths are concerned, the swine flu positive patient expired while two more with swine flu like symptoms also expired.”
Dr Nooral Ameen from Orange City Hospital and Research Institute (OCHRI) said, “This month we have treated six people, where three tested positive for swine flu, while the rest show swine flu like symptom. Even the latter patients had the same symptoms, like sore throat, cold and fever, sometimes breathlessness.”