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Swine flu situation is bad in India

Swine flu situation is bad in India

There is something very familiar with the way swine flu news sifts in from around the country. As the temperatures wet, the authorities of various states allege that the situation is under control, there is adequate stock of medicine, sufficient laboratories to test the virus, a sufficient amount of wards in government hospitals to keep the sufferers isolated, etc. etc… ad nauseum. Even though this, news of deaths and positive cases of swine continues.

Swine flu situation is bad in India

Since the 2009 epidemic, there is clearly no advance in place to prevent the disease from spreading. At best, the state government’s tactics can be termed as treating the victims. The problem with the swine flu ‘H1N1’ virus is that it is becoming more and more difficult to diagnose & treat due to several viral strains that have been traced such as ‘H1N1’, ‘H3N1’ and ‘H3N2.’Swine flu situation is bad in India

Why India is more susceptible to swine flu?

India is even more susceptible because of its climate. While in the most countries the swine flu virus makes an appearance during the winter season, in India it surfaces twice a year during the monsoon and winter seasons. Add to that the fact, that our population density is very high, public places and transport is overcrowded and there is complete ignore for sanitation and hygiene. There is also a lack of awareness about the disease and many people still believe that virus spreads from pigs. The swine flu situation actually points out the deficiencies of India’s public health system.

What needs to be done?

Most of the public health experts dispute that authorities need to do 2 things to enclose the disease provide vaccination for the at risk population and make swine flu drugs or vaccine more easily available to the public. Sadly, the government has turned both proposals down. Vaccination is only given to the people who are treating swine flu infected patients and the centre lined out universal vaccination for the time being. Also the drugs to treat the disease are not extensively available it is only available at selected government hospitals and over the counter sales are being banned. This is supposedly done to prevent random use which could lead to confrontation against the drug.

The only forward would be to make the available remedies like Tamiflu, Relenza and others more extensively available by allowing qualified medical practitioners and chemist shops to stock & distribute the anti – flu drugs and give strict instructions on their usage. Unless step like this is taken, swine flu will remain as a seasonal virus that will continue to catch our local authorities unaware and allege lives, year after year.

Swine flu situation is bad in India

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