Members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Mumbai branch met with Maharashtra Health Minister, Dr Deepak Sawant on the backdrop of the number of rising cases of swine flu and the possible danger of the spread of dengue. At the meeting, cause and preventive measures of these two diseases were discussed. It was also decided that the IMA would go ahead with a joint venture with government of Maharashtra and BMC to tackle the threat posed by these diseases.
The number of swine flu cases in the state, has risen alarmingly in the month of June. According to the information released by Public Health Department of BMC, the number of swine flu cases has increased in June which had shown slow progression till the month of May. In June 313 cases of swine flu were reported. In the months from January to June, 490 cases of swine flu were reported. From January to June 15, this year, nine people have succumbed to swine flu in Mumbai.
With rising cases of swine flu in the state, a team of four from the National Centre for Communicable Disease Control (NCCDC) recently visited the state to study the reasons behind the swine flu deaths and suggest guidelines. Experts observed a new strain called the Michigan strain has been isolated in the state. That’s why more people are falling prey to it.
“In our meeting we discussed the rising threat of swine flu and the new strain of the virus. To tackle this problem, the Health Minister told us that a circular has been issued, stating that Tamiflu tablets will be available at all the chemist shops. It can be bought with a doctor’s prescription. We were also informed that the spread of swine flu was not anticipated during pre-monsoon season,” said Dr Anil Pachnekar, former President of IMA Maharashtra.
My Medical Mantra spoke with Pallavi Darade, FDA Commissioner Maharashtra about the availability of Tamiflu at private chemist shops, she said “When we checked on the distribution of Tamiflu tablets in the market, it was identified that it was not proper. The Joint Commissioner was asked to review the situation in order to avoid artificial shortage in the market due to unequal distribution of the tablets.”