Amritsar, August 9
The District Health Department has sounded high alert as at least two suspected cases of swine flu were reported at hospitals in the city. Both the patients are not residents of the district, but were shifted here for treatment today.
A patient from Jalandhar was admitted to a private hospital. Another patient from Gurdaspur was admitted to Government Medical College here.
As other such cases have already been reported from Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Mohali, the department has been keeping a keen watch, claimed the district epidemiologist, Dr Madan Mohan. He said samples of the patients were being examined and civil surgeons of both the districts had been intimated.
Health officials stated that the early onset of swine flu was worrying. “Swine flu earlier was associated with winter months, but this time it has come early,” said a faculty member at Government Medical College.
Dr Madan Mohan said all the hospitals had been instructed to intimate the department as soon as a suspected swine flu patient reached their facility. “It will help us obtain the samples and get these examined at the lab in the medical college. The tests at the government facility are conducted free of cost,” said Dr Madan Mohan.
He said an isolated ward for swine flu patients has been set up at Government Medical College and the department has enough stock of medicines for such patients. Dr Madan Mohan said no case from the district had been reported so far.
The health officials, in an advisory for the general public, have asked them to take ample precautions, especially at crowded places. Besides, the residents are advised to consult physicians in case they feel any of the symptoms associated with flu. The symptoms of swine flu include headache, cough, fever, loss of appetite, aches, fatigue, running nose, sneezing, watery eyes, irritation in throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Pneumonia may also develop in chronic conditions.
Civil Surgeon assumes office
The Civil Surgeon, Amritsar, Dr Narinder Kaur, assumed office on Wednesday. She has been shifted from Mansa by the Health Department. While talking to health officials, she said, “I shall try to work with the same zeal and enthusiasm with which I worked in Mansa. I seek the support of every employee.” Dr Narinder Kaur has served in the district in the past too in the capacity of Senior Medical Officer at Tarsikka and Mannawala. Senior officials of the department were present on the occasion.