Thursday, August 20, 2009

Indian Government Guidelines for management of Novel H1N1 flu cases

The Indian Government has issued new guidelines for managing Novel H1N1 Influenza A infection. The details are available here.

Under the new guidelines, any person with flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, cold, running nose etc. should go to a designated Government facility for giving his/her sample for testing for the H1N1 virus.

After clinical assessment, the designated medical officer would decide on the need for testing.
This is important. You cannot demand a test.
Government wants to avoid unnecessary testing as the test kits are costly and most of the infections are mild needing no specific treatment.
Except for cases that are severe, the patient would be allowed to go home (This was not allowed under the existing guidelines).
The sample of the suspect case would be collected and sent to the notified laboratory for testing.
If tested as positive for H1N1 and in case the symptoms are mild, the patient would be informed and given the option of admission into the hospital or isolation and treatment at his own home.
In case the patient opts for home isolation and treatment, he/she would be provided with detailed guidelines / safety measures to be strictly adhered to by the entire household of the patient. He/ she would have to provide full contact details of his entire household. The house hold and social contacts would be provided with the preventive treatment.
Notwithstanding the above guidelines, the decision of the doctor of the notified hospital about admitting the patient would be final.

In case the test is negative, the patient will accordingly be informed.
These guidelines have been issued by the Government in public interest and shall be reviewed from time to time depending on the spread of the pandemic and its severity in the country. These guidelines would however not apply to passengers who are identified through screening at the points of entry. The existing policy of isolating passengers with flu like symptoms would continue.


Hua said...

Hi Charakan,

Thanks for posting all the information about H1N1 virus. I wonder if people would actually go to the proper testing facilities, even if they are far away from their homes.

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Seema said...

A Dumb question perhaps but can these guidelines be made mandatory in order to prevent pandemic situation?

shebi.... said...

dear doctor,
pls give ur mail id to clarify my doubts abt the severe joint pain i am suffering from the last 45 days..i had posted this as a comment in chikunguniya article u have posted. but hope u wont check it as it is an old post.. '
ur blog is a great work... congrats.

Charakan said...

Seema, Your questions are welcome and it is not a dumb question. As of now the medicine Tamiflu is available only through Govt sources.Also the test for H1N1 is only easily available through the Govt hospitals.So we doctors find it easy to refer such patients to Govt facility.So we can consider the Guidelines are almost like mandatory on each and every doctor/patient of India.

Can it prevent the spread of the disease? Unlikely but it may prevent some deaths.

Anonymous said...

Well I agree but I dream the brief should acquire more info then it has.

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