Kashmir MagzineKashmir News EyeDaily Ilhaaq

Valley facing slightly increased surge in H1N1 infections: Dir SKIMS

No need to panic or scare

Srinagar, Nov 18 (KNS): Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences is catering to the patient care of the Valley in particular and the State of J&K in general ever-since 1982 at tertiary level with the help of its dedicated manpower and state-of-art Technology and Augmented Infrastructure.
For all these three and half decades Respiratory and Pathologies including viral infections have always been a considerable workload for the Department of General Medicine and its allied Specialties supported by all other diagnostics, and therapeutic services that carters to Infections, Airway Diseases and Malignancies and other age related Degenerative Disorders affecting the respiratory system .
Off late, world has seen a surge in various health related infectious pathologies including Swine-flu (H1N1) and all other influenza related ailments. Present world beingliterally one village on an account of business, trade, travel and other activities, the frequent movements all across the globe is responsible for transmission of such infectious diseases from one place to another, that sometimes takes epidemic proportions,tax any health care system in the world like the ones we have seen in the past with regard to swine flu,Mad cow diseases (Foot and Mouth disease in cattle),Ebola virus and Zika virus syndromes that forced even travel ban in different parts of the world on different occasions.
With the seasonal variations in our State particularly in our Valley during autumn and winter season, as the temperature dips, the viral surge in the atmosphere leads to increased incidence of such infections forcing people to take necessary precautions in order to avoid the escalation and spread of such infectious diseases.
No part of the world and for that matter no population is immune to such epidemics least the valley of Kashmir, which is unfortunately as on date, facing slightly increased surge in Swine flu (H1N1) infections.
SKIMS is bearing the maximum brunt of this patient population because of thetertiary care facilities available at this Center and more so because of other peripheral health care Institutions of the Valley choose to refer /send the patients to SKIMS rather than looking them at their respectively places despite availability of Infrastructural and other facility for managing these patients at primary and secondary level.
Directorate of Health Services according to the KNS correspondent has issued an advisory in this regard for making awareness amongst the general masses and SKIMS is working hand in hand with the Directorate of Health Services in providing the only tertiary care facilities to handle this specific patient load as well. SKIMS has dedicated an area of Isolation ward with facilities even for Ventilation as and when required for treating these patients, where in all the precautions are taken to restrict to spread of this infection simultaneously managing these patients. Beside this isolation ward the adjacent Medical Observation Ward, Surgical Intensive Care and all other relevant Departments at SKIMS take care of these patients who suffer from other co-morbidities diseases that make them immune compromised, thus vulnerable to such infections.
As on date SKIMS has treated 24 positive cases of H1N1, out of which 12 have been discharged, 5 are under treatment and unfortunately 7 patients have expired because of other co-morbidities primarily like Malignancies, leukemia, COPD, Immune compromised states.
All these patients are managed by the Department of Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, Pulmonary Medicine and all other correlated disciplines depending on the nature of underline aliments.
The staff members looking after these patients have been provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) /masks and other facilities for their personal protection as well as immunization against H1N1.
SKIMS have designated labs for H1N1 testing in the Virology section of Microbiology and General Medicine. Research projects under Pulmonary Medicine headed by Prof Parvaiz Ahmad koul and Virology under Prof Dilipkakru of Microbiology Department, who are the Principal Investigators for virology and pulmonary projects respectively.

Advisory for Public
• In Case of fever, cough, sneezing, body aches, running nose H1N1 should be suspected.
• Maintain hand hygiene by washing with soap and water.
• Maintain proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
• Vaccine high risk groups like Pregnancy, Diabetic, Liver Disease, Heart Disease, Malignancy, and Transplant Patients.
• Patients on Immune-Suppressive drugs.
• Patients who develop Breathlessness, Restlessness, High Grade Fever should report to emergency department of hospital.
• People suspected or confirmed of H1N1 infection should take rest and confine themselves indoor for 3-5 days after taking medical advice.
• Take rest, adequate fluids, ParacetmolImmediately and take advice of a doctor.
• No need to panic or scare. (KNS)