Sunday, March 1, 2015

Swine flu: Panic in India

Indian Health Minister JP Nadda has urged the public not to panic, as the number of deaths so far this year from swine flu passed 900 from 16,000 cases.

Rajasthan and Gujarat are among the worst affected states.

Officials in Ahmedabad, Gujarat's largest city, have announced restrictions on public gatherings as a precautionary measure.

The current outbreak, which began in December last year, is India's deadliest since 2010.

Nearly 4,000 people have been killed in separate outbreaks of the H1N1 virus since 2009.


In Ahmedabad, officials have said weddings and funerals may take place but participants must wear protective masks.

The Gujarat state assembly's speaker and health minister both have swine flu. Some opposition politicians have criticised the government's response, describing it as a public health crisis.

Workplaces and schools have been open as normal but a charity walk and concert are among several public events in Ahmedabad which have been put on hold.

Organiser Kaushal Mehta said the walk was to have taken place on 1 March: "Around 5,000 [were to] walk for charity.

"However, due to swine flu and the prohibitionary order we have postponed the event. The experts have told us to wait."

Doctors believe that as temperatures rise during the summer the effect of the virus will subside, BBC Hindi's Ankur Jain in Ahmedabad reports.

What is swine flu?
  • A respiratory disease caused by a strain of the influenza type A virus known as H1N1, which first appeared in Mexico in 2009
  • Originated in pigs, but is now a human disease spread by coughing and sneezing
  • Symptoms similar to those produced by standard, seasonal flu - fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and chills
  • Vulnerable groups include pregnant women, children under five, the over-65s and those with serious medical conditions

Sonam Kapoor tests positive for swine flu

Sources said that the shooting of 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' had resumed
even as Sonam Kapoor had been admitted in the hospital on Saturday.
Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, 28, who was shooting for ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ in Gondal, Rajkot district, was admitted in an ICU after she tested positive for swine flu.

Sonam Kapoor had reportedly arrived at Rajkot airport and left for Gondal on February 25 and then proceeded to Gondal’s royal Orchard Palace to join Salman Khan and Anupam Kher for shooting of the film. “She had been having a fever since after the day she came in and is admitted to a city-based hospital today. Meanwhile there is no ruckus on the film set and no-one else has shown any symptoms so far and shooting has resumed in the palace premises,” said a source close to the development.

She was taken to Sterling Hospital in Rajkot on Saturday (February 28) and was tested positive for swine flu. Spokesperson for Sterling Hospital confirmed the actress had tested positive for H1N1 virus. “She had been admitted to the hospital at around 10 am on Saturday. Dr Chirag Matravadiya, examined her. As the patient had symptoms of cold, fever etc, the doctor recommended her swine flu test. The lab tests came positive for H1N1virus in the evening,” said the spokesperson.

“Right now, she is being treated in an intensive care unit in isolation ward of our hospital. Doctors treating her are saying that her condition is stable,” added the spokesperson.
The hospital further added that arrangements were being made to shift Sonam Kapoor to Mumbai through an air ambulance and that she was likely to leave the Rajkot hospital by 8:30 pm on February 28.

Arrangements were made to fly the actress to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in Mumbai. Sources at the palace in Gondal where the film ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ is being shot said that the shooting of the film had resumed even as Sonam Kapoor had been admitted in the hospital on Saturday.

Sonam would often doze off in between the shots during the shoot, indicating that she was indeed unwell as soon as she started with the shoot in Rajkot.

(Source: BBC Health and http://indianexpress.com)

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