A ProMED-mail post
Archive Number: 20130205.1530347
Date: Sun 3 Feb 2013
Source: The Times of India, Times News Network (TNN) [edited]
With the deaths of 22 people in January , the city has become highly vulnerable to the H1N1 virus. According to the data available from the SN Medical College [Dr Sampurnanand Medical College], as many as 17 people died of swine flu from September to December . And in January , flu cases increased significantly. SN Medical college principal Dr Arvind Mathur said the majority of patients had died within 2 to 48 hours of being admitted to hospital and even before their swab testing reports had been issued. He said people should not be negligent if they suffer from symptoms suggestive of swine flu.
Dr Mathur also said the low temperature and low humidity provide a favourable environment for the virus to spread. Mostly, pregnant women are getting infected with the virus. Out of the 45 deaths reported in the recent past, 20 were pregnant women. Among the 22 deaths reported in January , one belonged to Jodhpur city, 11 to Jodhpur rural area, 5 were from Barmer, 3 from Jaisalmer, and one each from Pali and Nagaur.
Taking note of the situation, senior officials of the state medical and health department visited Jodhpur on 26 and 27 Jan 2013. They discussed the issue with the hospital and the college administrations. A team of 2 doctors from SMS Hospital has also visited the hospitals here on the direction of the state government and have submitted its report to the government.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Ayurved University has extended helping hands to curb the disease. Dr Mathur said the issue has been discussed with the AIIMS director and he has [proposed] solutions to check this trend. “We have also spoken to the Ayurved University and they also have assured help,” Mathur said. Meanwhile, the facility for testing of the swab samples has been made available at the medical college and the Desert Medical Research Centre (DMRC). “We are facing the deficiency of diagnostic test kits. When our stock of the kits is exhausted, we forward the samples to DMRC,” he said.
Though most of the cases are coming from rural areas, the district administration has not yet put in adequate efforts to identify patients and get them treated in their respective areas to avoid delay. The district collector, who also has taken charge of the divisional commissioner of Jodhpur, was not available for comment.
ProMED-mail thanks Caroline Davies for drawing attention to this additional report concerning the outbreak of severe respiratory virus infection in Rajasthan state.
This report does not confirm directly that the (H1N1) influenza virus responsible for this outbreak is in fact the swine derived A/(H1N1) pdm09 influenza virus, as suggested in the previous report. The results of specific tests are still awaited. A significant feature of the outbreak in Rajasthan is the high frequency of pregnant women among the fatal cases. No information is provided regarding the vaccination status of the Rajasthan population. – Mod.CP]
Comment: While the number of cases are not alarming as of now, I would certainly recommend that all tourists traveling to Rajasthan update themselves with Flu vaccine either before travel to India, or at our TravelSafe Clinic branch in New Delhi as soon as they land in India.