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India’s Gujarat to find out ecological factors related to Swine Flu spread


AHMEDABAD, India, March 4- In view of the alarming rise in the number of swine flu deaths in the state, Gujarat government has decided to study the ecological reasons responsible for the spread of the virus. As many as 25 medical teams have been constituted which would visit various parts of the state, the Press Trust of India (PTI)reported.

“Each team would prepare a comprehensive, comparative report on flu-prone and non flu-prone regions, helping identify the basic principles behind the transmission of the virus, such as interplay of humidity, rainfall and low temperature,” said Dinkar Raval, Deputy Director (Epidemics) and the state nodal officer for swine flu.

Of the 65 persons who died of swine flu this year, Raval said, 25 per cent were pregnant women, 15 per cent were diabetics and 10 per cent were patients with major chest illnesses. The medical teams will be headed by the heads of the departments of preventive and social medicine at the five state-run medical colleges. Other members will be an assistant professor of the department, Information Education Communication (IEC) specialist, district Epidemiologist and a public health supervisor.

images (2)“The team will also study whether doctors are aware of the latest modalities of the treatment,” he said.

“Prevalence of swine flu is higher in Saurashtra, Ahmedabad, Kutch, while in the entire tribal belt, no cases have been reported. We want to analyse the reasons behind this trend so that steps can be taken to curb the spread of
virus,” Raval said.

Currently, specialised counselling on how to avoid infection is given to pregnant women at OPDs in hospitals. Rajkot, Raval said, was the worst-affected district with 15 deaths and 114 cases this year. Twelve persons have died of swine flu in Ahmedabad district while 40 others have tested positive. Four persons have died in Jamnagar district and 48 have tested positive.

Kutch, Raval said, registered only 25 cases, but there have been ten deaths since the start of the year. In all 345 swine flu patients have been reported across the state, of which 160 were cured and discharged.