Home quarantines advisable for swine flu victims: Docs

Public and private doctors in the city came together for a seminar at Nair Hospital on Sunday to discuss changes taking place in swine flu treatment, since the H1N1 virus first hit Mumbai in April last year.

Swine flu vaccination, its treatment and the Kerala state government’s response to the massive H1N1 outbreak that the state faced since last year, were among the topics debated as part of the seminar. Experts discussed how the H1N1 treatment pattern had now shifted to advise home quarantine to more people testing positive for swine flu instead of being admitted at hospitals.

“In many H1N1 cases tested in the early stage, we find it’s preferable to isolate patients at home. Everyone need not come to the hospital.

It helps reduce disease transmission,” said Dr Daksha Shah, who heads the epidemiology cell of the BMC. Shah also added that it would help if hospitals would prepare about two ICU beds in isolation for swine flu treatment. Doctors said that the N95 mask, which was believed to be the only protective gear against the virus last year, was now longer so.

“Covering your face with a surgical mask or even a handkerchief (one-time use) offers protection,” said Dr Om Srivastava, infectious diseases specialist, Kasturba Hospital, who organised the seminar. The swine flu vaccines, the injectible as well as the nasal varieties that were introduced this year, will also change the course of treatment, said doctors.

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