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‘Do not lower guard on A (H1N1) flu’

Special Correspondent

Photo: K. Ananthan

Awareness: Though fewer cases of A (H1N1) flu are being reported, public health authorities want people to remain cautious. —

COIMBATORE: Public health authorities in Coimbatore seem to be having a bit of relief now with fewer cases of A (H1N1) influenza being reported now than a month ago. But, this is no reason for the public to lower their guard, the authorities warn.

The Coimbatore Medical College Hospital had only three persons quarantined in its 20-bed isolation ward on Wednesday. And, one of them who tested positive in Mumbai tested negative in Coimbatore. “We are discharging him tomorrow,” Dean of the hospital V. Kumaran said.

“Close to a month ago, the two private laboratories approved by Government for conducting flu tests used to report nearly 30 positive cases a day. Over the last one week, the number dipped to 10 or 15. Now, it is even less,” Dr. Kumaran said.

Of the seven persons who underwent tests at one of the laboratories on Tuesday, only two tested positive. One of these persons was from Erode and another from a rural area in Coimbatore. “Cases being reported from the city are steadily decreasing. One inference is people are following the treatment protocol and the other is that the community is developing immunity,” the Dean said.

Joint Director of Health Services M. Doraikannan said compulsory hospital quarantine had worked and there was greater awareness among the people on the symptoms and the need for proper tests and treatment. If tests confirmed that a person was flu positive, the laboratory concerned informed the Department of Public Health, the City Health Department of the Coimbatore Corporation and the CMCH.

The next step was to ensure that the patient was quarantined at the hospital.

The authorities said the situation in Coimbatore was much better now after three flu deaths and about 900 positive cases were reported. “We feared that more cases may be reported during winter. But, we are crossing this phase without any major problem. There are one or two cases, but not clusters,” the Dean said. But, the improvement now was no reason to relax any guideline being followed now. Tests and quarantine were necessary if anyone experienced flu-like symptoms, they said.

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