KARACHI: Another patient was diagnosed with swine flu on Tuesday evening at a private hospital, bringing the number of total cases to 13, including a death, over the last three months.
Rubina, 42, was admitted to the Holy Family Hospital three days ago. Her blood and swab samples, which were sent to the Aga Khan University Hospital for a lab test, came back positive.
56 possible swine flu patients being treated
After a patient at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) died of swine flu on January 2, the hospital started screening and prophylactic treatment of ASH employees, the patient’s family members and his colleagues.
Iftikhar Hussain, a sector in-charge of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), died of Swine flu last Saturday. The people who were in close contact with him included 24 ASH employees, 11 family members and 21 colleagues and their treatment was started on Saturday, said Health EDO Dr Nasir Jawaid Sheikh. Although the screening test reports have not come in yet, this treatment is a preventive measure against further spread of the virus. The laboratory reports would take 10 days to come in.
The treatment includes using the TAMI FLU, an anti-viral vaccine given by the World Health Organisation (WHO). If the expiry dates on the vaccine vials are to mean anything, then these vaccines expired at the start of this month. The WHO, however, told the city government via a letter that came with the vaccines that these can be used for up to two years safely.
DCO Karachi Muhammad Hussain Syed said there was nothing to panic about and effective measures are already in place. Dr Sheikh told The Express Tribune that the CDGK health department has reserved six rooms and a medical intensive care unit at the ASH for the treatment and care of Swine flu-affected patients. The dengue cell at the hospital has also been converted into a swine flu cell.
The EDO health said that the 56 patients under treatment were said to be ‘exposed to H1N1 virus’, but it was unlikely that any of them would enter the fatal phase of the flu because the hospital started prophylactic treatment early.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2011.
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