July 25th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News   Comments Off on INDIA GEARS UP TO FIGHT SWINE FLU
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The outbreak of swine flu began in Mexico, and there is evidence that Mexico was already in the midst of an epidemic months before the outbreak was recognized. Soon after, their government closed down most of Mexico City’s public and private offices and facilities to help contain the spread. Vaccine and pandemic experts are working with the administration to determine how to produce, test, track and educate the public about the treatment, prevention and protection from swine flu.

India will need its’ fare share of vaccines for treatment of the swine flu epidemic.

Seventeen people, including fourteen children, were detected with the A(H1N1) flu last Saturday, taking the total influenza A (H1N1) virus cases in India to 285, health officials said. The youngest to test positive for the virus is an 11-month-old boy.

According to the union health ministry, so far 1,293 persons have been tested, of whom 251 were positive for Influenza A(H1N1). Of these 251 positive cases, 141 have been discharged. The remaining 110 of them are admitted for further analysis and treatment.” This was reported in the Times of India, New Delhi.

The 17 new confirmed cases were reported from Delhi (7), Pune (5), Cochin (2), Thiruvananthapuram (1), Kozhikode (1) and Goa (1). The 11-month-old boy with A(H1N1) flu is from Delhi. The child had travelled from New York to Delhi July 14.

“We have reiterated to the school authorities to ensure that if any student shows flu-like symptoms the child should be immediately sent home,” said. a spokesperson from Union Health Ministry. “There is nothing to panic. But people need to be cautious,” he added.

General Precautions

– Stay home whenever possible. Wash your hands often with medicated soap and water or sanitizer – this will kill most germs.
– If you develop a fever consult your doctor immediately and start drinking plenty of fluids. Warm water is the best natural medicine for cough and cold. Stay well hydrated and get a check up and treatment for whatever is causing your fever.
– If you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief.
– Avoid people who have a fever, cough, or sneezing, or complain of any flu-like symptoms

India’s drug regulatory, Central Drugs Standard Control Authority, has given approval to three domestic biotech firms to start tests and analyses to develop a vaccine for swine flu, or the H1N1 virus, which killed hundreds across the globe this year, subsequently classified by the World Health Organisation as a “pandemic The A(H1N1) virus is commonly referred to as “swine flu”, which is transmitted between humans.

Novartis AG, a prominent drug manufacturing company, had claimed last month that it has successfully produced the first batch of vaccines for the virus, but the global markets are yet to see a product.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.LN), Sanofi-Aventis SA (SAN.FR), Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) and Baxter International Inc. (BAX) are the other companies who are trying to fulfill the global demand for the vaccine.

The TV news channels have reported that the vaccine is being sold sometimes without prescription in some of the medical stores at a higher price. This needs to be looked into.

Ravi Matah


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