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Health ministry denies swine flu incidence in India

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Thursday, April 30, 2009, 18:45 This news item was posted in health category and has 0 Comments so far.

India’s health ministry denied the reports swine flu saying that there is no swine flu case reported in the country, so far.

H1N1 virus which causes swine flu has not been detected in India and India is fully prepared to face any eventuality even if the swine flu hits the country, said Vineet Choudhary, joint secretary, Health under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

According to him, there is no suspected case of swine flu in India and that surveillance is in place at all airports.

Regarding the stockpiling of anti-flu drugs like Tamiflu (oseltamivir) the health ministry is in talks with companies that manufacture the preventive medicine.

The government also plans to organise four district level meetings soon with the chief medical officers and other health officials to spread awareness about swine flu among people.

There are reports that swine flu has been detected in one traveller landed at Hyderabad airport. The person suspected to be having swine flu infection arrived from Texas, US – the region after Mexico where the swine flu spread two days ago.

The swine flu causing H1N1 virus was reported detected in the blood sample of the person while doing the mandatory screening procedure for travellers coming from flu infected regions. India has made it compulsory that all travellers arriving from swine flu infected countries to be screened for the virus at select airports.

The health ministry decided to stockpile three million doses of Tamiflu, the only known drug found to be effective against the virus.

WHO had raised the swine flu threat awareness level to 5 out of 6, indicating that the world is on the brink of a pandemic, on Wednesday.

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said that raising the alert level was a signal to governments, health officials and the pharmaceutical industry to take urgent action in readiness to tackle a pandemic.

Holland and Switzerland both confirmed their first cases of swine flu on Thursday, bringing the total number of countries affected around the world to 11.

In Mexico there have been eight confirmed deaths from the virus, with another 160 suspected swine flu fatalities.

There have been 93 confirmed cases in the US, 19 in Canada, 13 in New Zealand, five in Britain, four in Germany, 10 in Spain, two in Israel, and one in Austria.

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