6 more test positive for swine flu; 1 critical in Telangana, India

Swine Flu Alert

The city woke up to six positive cases of swine flu on Saturday taking the total number of confirmed cases to 62 in Telangana. 
While the condition of five among them is yet to be ascertained, one of the victims — identified as a 63-year-old woman from KPHB in city — is said to be in an extremely critical condition. She is currently undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Banjara Hills. 
The others tested positive for the virus include a 17-month-old boy from Secunderabad, a 36-year-old man from Jagadgirigutta, a 54-year-old woman from Bowenpally and a 53-year old man whose address is yet to be known. 
While all these patients are undergoing treatment at four different corporate hospitals in the city, the sixth individual — a 27-year-old man from Mahbubnagar, is being treated at the district’s healthcare facility. 
Regardless of the rapid rise in the number of cases, the officials concerned appeared in the least apologetic about the two-day holiday granted to the state-run Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) — the only nodal laboratory to conduct swine flu tests in the two states — for Christmas. This is despite the IPM laboratory attracting severe criticism from medical experts and government health officials in the past for the same reason.
 Doctor checks a patient at the swine flu screening centre at the Central Railway Station in Chennai.
The lab also closed down for the weekend. 
“It is a very precarious situation considering six people have tested positive on one single day. I think we would stumble upon more positive cases if tests are conducted regularly,” said Dr M Ramakrishna Reddy, a consultant pulmonologist with Holistic Hospitals. Several experts called for speedier diagnosis lashing out at the authorities for their lackadaisical attitude towards tackling the fast-spreading virus. 
K Subhakar, state coordinator for swine flu said that there wasn’t any reason for people to hit the panic button just yet. 
“We have been observing the H1N1 virus for the last four years and what we have found is that there has been no change in its behaviour. Only if there is a mutation in the swine flu virus there could be a serious reason to worry but that has not happened so far,” he said while admitting that there was little he could do about IPM’s holidays.
Courtesy of The Times Of India

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