Throat swabs of 30,000 patients taken for swine flu testing.
Mumbai: Alarmed by the rampant spread of the H1N1 virus, which causes swine flu, the state health department has directed all medical professionals to take every upper respiratory tract infection case seriously. The department also issued guidelines that tests be conducted for suspected patients who have been showing flu symptoms for more than a day. So far, more than 30,000 patients’ throat swabs have been taken for swine flu testing in the city at designated laboratories.
The state has recorded 1,814 positive cases of H1N1 virus and 263 deaths — of which 10 deaths were recorded in Mumbai — since January this year. In the corresponding period last year, there were around 26 deaths in the state. A state official said a lot of cases are being diagnosed late, as the symptoms overlap with those of the common cold and self-medication has worsen the condition of patients.
Stating that the H1N1 virus is prevalent, health minister Dr Deepak Sawant said, “I have given strict instructions that H1N1 patients be treated on priority. If a person is suffering from cold, cough and fever for more than 24 hours, he should be immediately check for the H1N1 virus with a throat swab test.”
TESTING FOR THE DISEASE
H1N1 VIRUS TEST CAN BE DONE IN
The civic-run laboratory at Kasturba Hospital in Chinchpokli charges Rs 2,500 for the test, which is free for patients below the poverty line. Haffkine Institute, Parel, has been conducting tests free of cost since 2009.
SRL Diagnostics, a private laboratory, charges Rs 5,000 for the procedure while Metropolis laboratory and PATHLABS charge about Rs 5,000 and Rs 4,500 respectively for the procedure.
The H1N1 virus test can be done at civic-run hospitals such as Kasturba Hospital, Bhabha Hospital, Rajawadi Hospital, Bhagwati Hospital, Agarwal Hospital and Siddharth Hospital.