ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Swine Flu Surprises

The government has not taken the outbreak of influenza virus seriously enough. While it had managed to curtail the spread of the H1N1 virus in 2010, it has not put in place the public health measures which would collect data and allow for policies which will protect the most vulnerable populations. An explanation of the dangers of influenza and what can be done to address these.

Influenza (flu) had always been present in India, ignored until 2009 by both the medical profession and the government alike, believing it a trivial disease. The flu pandemic of 2009 changed that perception. Beginning in February in Mexico it reached India in May. By then media publicity had instilled fear in the minds of all.

The government’s action plan included screening of air passengers from Western countries, designating two laboratories for reliable diagnostic testing, encouraging vaccine manufacture, importation of the antiviral drug oseltamivir, and timely public announcements through media. As flu spread throughout the country, more laboratories were allowed to test for diagnosing pandemic flu. Globally the pandemic was declared ended in August 2010.

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