Govt contests swine flu claim

KATHMANDU, JAN 16 -

The Manmohan Memorial Community Hospital on Tuesday claimed that it successfully treated a patient with Influenza A (H1N1), better known as swine flu.

The hospital said that Rajendra Acharya of Kaski, who was admitted to the ICU, had developed the flu symptoms, while tests at the National Public Health Laboratory in Kathmandu had confirmed the presence of the flu.

However, Health Ministry officials said the case is “just a publicity stunt” of the hospital. “Influenza A is now a general flu. People have already developed resistance against the virus,” Dr GD Thakur, director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, said. “I’m sure the hospital has done it for publicity.” Dr Thakur said the report of the hospital says the patient has Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09, meaning that the virus is similar to that of pandemic flu seen in 2009. “Had the virus mutated into a stronger type it would have been a cause for concern. However, no such cases have been reported,” he said.

The symptoms of influenza A are fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain and runny nose. In 2011, the World Health Organization declared the end of the (H1N1) 2009 pandemic and said that the “virus has become a seasonal virus”. However, the symptoms seen in the patient were akin to those of seasonal flu, Dr Thakur said.

Posted on: 2013-01-16 08:53