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January 10, 2019 |

Swine flu and prevention

In December last year and after a flip-flop attitude exhibited by health authorities in the state on the break out of swine flu, did the authorities divulge information on the deadly disease. On November 19, 2017 the number of people who died due to swine flu was seven. Reportedly, the hospital authorities while battling the disease and its outbreak were berated for the alleged hush up. As soon as the information about deaths caused by swine flu reached the public, there was a far more important concern to be addressed – whether authorities should sound the alarm or not. By downplaying the deaths and epidemic risk, the health authorities did save the region (Kashmir) from unnecessary panic or public hysteria. Nevertheless, on ethical grounds the debate is relevant even today when seven people have died this season (October till date). Last year then director SKIMS G Ahangar assured that doctors and other staff were immunized and given PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) masks as a precautionary measure. The arrangements available in hospitals to treat the deadly disease would call for a different debate, but the issue remains whether hushed-up response will help in controlling the disease. By now it is established that swine flu cases increase during winter months and that the deadly H1N1 virus finds it suitable to propagate in these months. Swine flu has kept health authorities in India on toes as death toll has shown little respite in the last many years. It has become a major challenge in health sector to control its spread as since the outbreak in 2009 it has claimed thousands of lives. Despite the advancement in the field of medicine many aspects of this disease continue to be mystery. State health authorities claim that there is medicine available at hospitals to treat the deadly disease. There are in fact different arrangements available in the state hospitals, but is the state prepared to deal with any future epidemic in this regard. Health authorities must divulge all information about the disease and patients here. Preventive methods need to be publicized so that people can also take precautionary steps on their part. If there are false reports or misinformation regarding the disease and its spread, the same must also be conveyed to the people. Last year, the general perception for which authorities were directly responsible was that a layer of secrecy was maintained on this important health concern in the state. It will be in the fitness of things if health officials keep the people updated about swine flu infections.               

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January 10, 2019 |

Swine flu and prevention

              

In December last year and after a flip-flop attitude exhibited by health authorities in the state on the break out of swine flu, did the authorities divulge information on the deadly disease. On November 19, 2017 the number of people who died due to swine flu was seven. Reportedly, the hospital authorities while battling the disease and its outbreak were berated for the alleged hush up. As soon as the information about deaths caused by swine flu reached the public, there was a far more important concern to be addressed – whether authorities should sound the alarm or not. By downplaying the deaths and epidemic risk, the health authorities did save the region (Kashmir) from unnecessary panic or public hysteria. Nevertheless, on ethical grounds the debate is relevant even today when seven people have died this season (October till date). Last year then director SKIMS G Ahangar assured that doctors and other staff were immunized and given PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) masks as a precautionary measure. The arrangements available in hospitals to treat the deadly disease would call for a different debate, but the issue remains whether hushed-up response will help in controlling the disease. By now it is established that swine flu cases increase during winter months and that the deadly H1N1 virus finds it suitable to propagate in these months. Swine flu has kept health authorities in India on toes as death toll has shown little respite in the last many years. It has become a major challenge in health sector to control its spread as since the outbreak in 2009 it has claimed thousands of lives. Despite the advancement in the field of medicine many aspects of this disease continue to be mystery. State health authorities claim that there is medicine available at hospitals to treat the deadly disease. There are in fact different arrangements available in the state hospitals, but is the state prepared to deal with any future epidemic in this regard. Health authorities must divulge all information about the disease and patients here. Preventive methods need to be publicized so that people can also take precautionary steps on their part. If there are false reports or misinformation regarding the disease and its spread, the same must also be conveyed to the people. Last year, the general perception for which authorities were directly responsible was that a layer of secrecy was maintained on this important health concern in the state. It will be in the fitness of things if health officials keep the people updated about swine flu infections.               

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