Swine flu in Bihar: RMRIMS is only testing facility for swine flu, expects number to rise

Patna, Mar 1: Five more persons today tested positive for swine flu taking the total number of people infected with the H1N1 virus in Bihar to 26. We ran 22 samples in our Realtime Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine today and five of them were found to be infected by H1N1 virus. Of those who tested positive, three are from Patna, while one each from Motihari and Lakhisarai districts, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) Director Dr Pradeep Das told PTI. (Read: Swine flu symptoms and signs you MUST be aware of!)

The RMRIMS is the lone testing facility for the disease in Bihar. The number of cases in the state could rise as Das said that around two dozen more samples from different districts in Bihar have arrived for swine flu test. Samples from Gaya, Banka and a few other places have arrived to our facility today, and we will be putting them for tests which take around seven hours. So far we have tested 120 samples from various parts of the state, Das added. (Read: Swine flu treatment and medicines -- Tamiflu, Relenza and more )

Meanwhile, Health department Principal Secretary Brajesh Mehrotra said 5,000 vials of H1N1 vaccine will be arriving by air to the state capital by tomorrow morning. The vaccine has been manufactured by pharmaceutical company Abbott in Ireland, and imported by us at Mumbai. Each vial costs around Rs 500 and we will be administering it for free to our medical workers engaged in countering swine flu, as well as, the family members of those have tested positive, Mehrotra said. (Read: 15 precautions every Indian should take to prevent swine flu)

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Mehrotra said inoculation is a long term process and vaccines take around 10 days to be affective against the virus. He added the state has a stock of 25,000 tablets of Tamiflu and its variants to counter the disease, which has claimed over 850 lives across the country. The tablets are also being given to family members of swine flu patients for prophylactic use. A Health department officer added that screening of suspected cases and public awareness campaign has started at all major railway stations in the state in the wake of rush of people returning to their native place on the occasion of Holi festival. (Read: IMA guidelines to tackle swine flu (H1N1 influenza) in India)

Source: PTI

Photo source: Getty images

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