With the viral infection among thousands of children continuing in Kashmir, samples of infected children examined by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi, have been found negative for swine flu, giving a big relief to doctors and people at large.
The six samples taken by the epidemiology division of the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir, (DHSK) on March 16 were sent to the NCDC for identification of the virus, which had infected over 68 children at Pethkot village of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
The samples were taken from children who were suffering from fever, cough, sore throat, and nasal catarrh. The doctors had suspected that the children were infected by influenza-A H1N1 (swine flu).
However, the NCDC report accessed by Kashmir Post has revealed that the samples taken from children in the age group of two to 13 years were found negative for influenza A and B.
“We had sent the samples of suspected swine flu cases to the NCDC. Fortunately, all the six cases have been declared negative and there is no chance of any epidemic,” said SM Qadri, state surveillance officer. Qadri said the prevalent viral infection in Kashmir was not fatal and wouldn’t lead to health complications.
He said the people should not panic and the infection would go within two weeks. “It is a normal flu and can’t lead to health complications. People should avoid taking antibiotics,” he said.
After the death of a 5-year-old boy, Nazim Khan, who was suffering from viral infection and also had an underlying comorbidity of a congenital heart disease, the DHSK had sent a team of doctors to prevent the viral infection from spreading further and to create awareness.
The DHSK doctors also took samples from Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital and Gousia Hospital in Srinagar for examination and sent them to the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar. However, the hospital has not prepared its report yet.
At Kashmir’s lone tertiary care children hospital, GB Pant, the rush of children with viral infection has increased manifolds.
GB Pant Hospital in Srinagar has received eight suspected swine flu cases since November last year. “Six of them were found negative, one died and another recovered from the infection,” said Medical Superintendent, GB Pant Hospital, KK Pandita.
Meanwhile, several private schools have asked the parents not to sent their children, down with viral infection, to school.