Irrespective of weather conditions, be it winter or summer, the swine flu menace is still continuing to haunt the people in Telangana. During the past one month as many as more than 160 cases have been registered in various government and private hospitals across the state.
Generally, the onset of winter season with the change of cold weather conditions, the viral strains of swine flu gets activated and spreads to air and people in the vicinity of infected patients easily gets contracted. However, during this time of the season, with temperatures souring more than 40-45 degrees, the doctors and healthcare experts alike are anxious about the flue cases rising in the state.
According to Dr. Shiva Leela, Director of Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM), it is suspected that rise in cases of swine flu in summer may be mainly because of the virus might have undergone mutations and is able to withstand the high rising temperatures. “It is a matter of grave concern that the virus is undergoing mutations and evolving to withstand the rising summer temperatures. The IPM is doing its best to test the samples as early as possible and sending it to the concerned hospitals to help the doctors carry on early treatment and save lives,” says Dr. Shiva Leela.
However, there are allegations from the health department in the state that there is an inordinate delay by the National Institute of Virology in Pune, as they have not yet received the results of samples sent to the institute to ascertain whether the virus has mutated or not. “Usually it takes 20-30 days to send the results, but the samples which were sent in first week of April have not yet received. This is making it difficult for the doctors to understand the viral strain,” says a senior official in the health department.
So far there have been 17 deaths being reported with Swine flu in Telangana. In view of this, the state government is taking extra precaution and is planning to give swine flu vaccine to women with high risk pregnancy to avoid mother and newborns from getting impacted with the infection.
As part of state governments ‘KCR Kit’ Programme which is exclusively designed to give delivery kits to pregnant women, all pregnant women will be tested every trimester to know their health condition and according to their condition the women are vaccinated against swine flu. “For the first time in the state, we have decided to identify high risk pregnant women and providing swine flu vaccine to avoid last minute complications due to the virus,” informed Dr. G. Subbalaxmi, joint director epidemics, and government of Telangana.