ibnlive » Health

Jun 09, 2009 at 06:10pm IST

Can India deal with a swine flu outbreak?

New Delhi: The H1N1 virus is spreading in India and has reached the Capital.

The latest patient is the mother of a 35-year old passenger who had earlier tested positive. The passenger had arrived in Delhi by the New York-Delhi Air India flight last Tuesday.

But Hyderabad is facing the brunt with seven cases. One person, a 28-year-old software engineer is believed to have passed on the virus to three people who were flying with him on British Airways Flight 277 that flew in from Philadelphia.

Now, concerns are being raised about airport screening procedures.

The airport screening involves filling out a form declaring flu like symptoms. This process is being carried out across 21 international airports in the country. But with some symptoms of flu not showing immediately, this screening is not foolproof.

However, several people have come forward on their own, to get tested, after displaying the symptoms later.

Meanwhile, India is not planning to seal its borders any time soon, nor is it planning to install thermal scanners that are used in international airports because these only detect high temperature, which is just one of the many symptoms of the flu.

But the Government assures that it is ready to handle any crisis.

“We are equipped to deal with any kind of situation regarding swine flu. We have an ample amount of Tami flu tablets. We are constantly in touch with WHO,” Health Secretary Naresh Dayal said.

Do watch out for symptoms like cold, cough, fever, running nose and body ache and if you display any of these, report to your nearest hospital.