After a long gap of nearly 2 years, swine flu seems to have made a comeback in Visakhapatnam. A 26 year old was tested positive for the dreaded viral disease in the last 24 hours in the city, while a 32 year old from Chitoor district died of swine flu undergoing treatment.
District medical and health officer, J.Sarojini reportedly confirmed that the 26-year-old patient was admitted with symptoms of swine flu last week and was tested positive. She is now undergoing treatment in a private hospital. “Her family members were also tested and given treatment to avoid the spread of the disease. One positive swine flu case was reported in November 2015. There were no cases in 2016,” she informed.
In these conditions, it is important to note that there are only two isolation centres available for treatment in government hospitals across the state, at the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam and Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) in Tirupati.
The State does not even have enough number of testing kits. The health department had in fact ‘initiated steps’ to set up district-wise swine flu testing facilities and isolation wards in every district hospital right from 2015. But till now, only two isolation wards and testing centers have materialised.
As of now, Visakhapatnam has stock to cater to about 200-500 patients. “Within a week, three districts will receive the test kits,” clarified V Subbarao, Director of Medical Education.