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Uptick in H1N1, H2N3, Covid cases needs to be promptly addressed: Union Health Secy

Written by  Shgun S -- March 11th 2023 03:57 PM
Uptick in H1N1, H2N3, Covid cases needs to be promptly addressed: Union Health Secy

Uptick in H1N1, H2N3, Covid cases needs to be promptly addressed: Union Health Secy

New Delhi, March 11: In a letter to the states and union territories on Saturday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan expressed his concern about the rising trend of other Influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory illnesses (ILIs/SARIs) in some states and union territories across the country.

Bhushan stated in the letter that it is critical to raise community awareness about respiratory and hand hygiene, encourage early reporting of symptoms, and limit contact with those suffering from respiratory illness.

"In the present season, a variety of weather conditions and behavioural reasons (like less than adequate attention to personal hygiene, sneezing and coughing without proper protection in close proximity of other people, closed indoor gatherings of people, etc.) make the environment conducive to the circulation of a number of viral respiratory pathogens like Influenza A (H1N1, H3N2 etc.), Adenoviruses, etc," said Bhushan.

He went on to say that young children, the elderly, and people with co-morbidities are especially at risk and vulnerable to H1N1, H3N2, Adenoviruses, and other viruses.

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Bhushan also stated that the gradual rise in COVID-19 test positivity rates in some states is a concern that must be addressed immediately.

"Despite the low number of new cases, equally low number of hospitalisations and significant advances made in terms of COVID-19 vaccination coverage, there is still a need to remain vigilant and focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour."

"In order to limit transmission of these diseases, it is important to raise community awareness regarding adherence to respiratory and hand hygiene, promoting early reporting of symptoms, and limiting the contact of those people who are suffering from respiratory illness," he added.

Bhushan also directed that the States/District Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) units monitor the proportion of SARI cases among all ILI& SARI cases in their respective areas and that a sufficient number of samples be sent for testing for Influenza, SARS-COV-2, and Adenovirus.

"It would also be useful to take a stock of hospital preparedness including drugs, medical equipment, medical oxygen, etc., capacity building of human resources on existing guidelines as well as vaccination coverage against COVID-19 and Influenza," Bhushan stated.

Also Read | India reports 2 deaths due to H3N2 influenza; 1 each in Haryana, Karnataka



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