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JAMMU: In view of some suspected cases of H1N1 Influenza having been reported from some areas of the State, the Governor, Mr. N.N. Vohra, convened a meeting today at the Raj Bhavan to review the to-date status of H1N1 flu in the State and the preparedness of the Health and Medical Education Department in this regard. The Governor was informed that an Isolation Ward has been set up at the Chest Diseases Hospital, Srinagar, and is being equipped with dedicated CCU facilities. This is in addition to the arrangements at SKIMS, Srinagar where testing facility is already functioning. Likewise, a separate Isolation Ward has been set-up at Col. Chopra Nursing Home, Government Medical College, Jammu, with sample collection facility and a separate Flu OPD has  been started in Medicine OPD of Medical College, Jammu. Round the clock Control Rooms have been established at Barzulla and Jammu, the Raj Bhavan spokesperson added.

On being informed that presently no testing facility is available in Jammu, the Governor directed that urgent measures should be taken to set up the required testing facility in Medical College Jammu, and he should be informed about the progress every week.  He also directed Director Health Services (Kashmir) to ensure that there is no delay whatsoever in the operationalisation of the testing facility being set up by the Government Medical College, Srinagar.

The Governor directed Secretary, Health Department, to ensure that adequate supplies of medicines, N95 masks required for health care workers and Virus Transport Medium (VTM) for transportation of samples are urgently procured and distributed to the concerned hospitals. The Raj Bhavan Spokesperson disclosed that SKIMS had so far taken 670 samples of persons from different parts of the State and tested 275 samples, out of which 71 patients had tested positive for Swine Flu virus.

The Governor directed Sh. B.B. Vyas, Principal Secretary, Finance to immediately release additional funding of Rs. 30 lakhs to the Health Department for augmenting the stock of medicines and vaccines and  purchase a ventilator to effectively deal with the Flu . Principal Secretary, Finance assured immediate help and stated that funding would not be a constraint in dealing with the obtaining situation.

Briefing the Governor about the state of preparedness Secretary Health, Sh. Gazzanfar Hussain, informed that an Action Plan has been devised for dealing with H1N1 influenza and necessary directions have been issued by the respective Director, Health Services, to all the CMOs and BMOs in the State. The Action Plan envisages the setting up of Isolation Wards with 4 to 6 beds at the District Hospitals and with 2 to 3 beds at the CH Centres. All the Health Department functionaries dealing with patients will be administered Influenza Vaccine.  He was also informed that N95 masks required for health care workers and VTM required for transportation of samples are being arranged from the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The Governor directed that the situation should be closely monitored by obtaining daily status report from various districts. He also directed the two Directors to urgently have meetings with the Private Hospitals and secure the required coordination.

The Governor asked Secretary, Health to ensure very wide publicity,  using all available media, to generate adequate awareness among people regarding Do’s and Dont’s in dealing with the Flu and when to seek specialist medical advice so that there is no unnecessary panic or scare. The Governor also reviewed the to-date status of detachments of doctors from the Medical institutions and directed the Secretary, Health & Medical Education for immediate detachment of doctors originally posted away from the State/ District/Block headquarters to ensure availability of doctors and paramedical staff, particularly in hospitals located in the remote and far-flung areas of the State. The Governor directed him to ensure the availability of sufficient medicines and medical equipments in all the health centers of the State.

The meeting was attended by Mr. B.B. Vyas, Principal Secretary Finance; Mr. P.K. Tripathi, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Mr. Gazanffer Hussain, Commissioner/Secretary Health and Medical Education; Dr. Ghanshyam, Principal, Government Medical College, Jammu; Dr. Bela Mahajan, HoD Microbiology; Dr. Baljeet Pathania, Director, Health Services Jammu; and Dr. Saleem ur Rehman, Director, Health Services Kashmir. Dr. Parvez Ahmad Koul, HoD Medicine, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and some of the concerned Faculty members in the Institute participated in the meeting through Video Conferencing.

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SRINAGAR:  Director SKIMS and Director Health Services in a joint press conference today appealed for responsible reporting about H1N1 flu which has seen slight increase since January. Director SKIMS confirmed 71 HIN1 positive cases whereas 275 were eligible to be tested, out of which 113 were influenza A, he added. Director SKIMS while giving details about prevailing scenario of HIN1 in Kashmir denied death of pregnant woman due to H1N1 as was reported by a section of media. He said the patient had serious underlying respiratory problem and was confirmed negative for H1N1 twice.

He said SKIMS has all necessary arrangements in place to meet such cases. He reiterated that there is no need to panic but advised necessary precautions to be taken by general public Director Health services Dr. Saleem-ur Rehmansaid in peripheries such patients are properly managed to avoid unnecessary burden but can be referred for advanced treatment to SKIMS if needed. HOD, Medicine Dr. ParvaizKoul and In charge H1N1 project at SKIMS and Medical Superintended Dr. Farooq Jan were also present on the occasion and brief about SKIMS preparedness about H1N1.

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JAMMU: The swine flu epidemic has continued to spread and cause concern throughout the world. Governments across the world have launched massive media campaigns to create awareness among the general public on this disease. In spite of this, it continues to spread and pose a threat to millions of people. Swine flu (swine influenza, hog flu or pig flu) is caused by A-H1N1 virus. The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of regular seasonal flu. These include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. These symptoms may also be accompanied by diarrhoea and vomiting.

This flu spreads mainly through personal contacts in the form of droplets created while coughing or sneezing by a person infected with the flu. Swine flu can be cured with timely diagnosis and administration of oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu) pills. Tamiflu, however, as with any other modern medicines, is not without side effects. There are a few serious ones that include adverse effects on pregnant or nursing women and kidney patients. So it is always better to take precautions and prevent the disease from occurring.

Ayurveda, the 5000 year old medical science based on natural systems, has some excellent preventive and curative solutions to diseases such as swine flu. The most significant aspect of these measures is that they are entirely based on natural substances and, therefore, totally safe on the human body. According to Ayurveda, swine flu is placed under a class of diseases called Sannipataj Jvar. Sannipataj Jvar is basically triggered by an aggravation of the three Doshas (Vata , Pitta and Kapha) and a loss of Ojas in the body. Low Ojas is lack of immunity at the physical level and absence of mental strength at the mind level. By strengthening the Ojas you can easily prevent diseases like swine flu from attacking you. Here are a few preventive tips:

Chyawanprash: Take 1 teaspoonful of this Ayurvedic tonic twice daily. Kwatha (Decoction): Take 5 Tulasi (basil) leaves, 4 Kali Mirch (whole black pepper) beads, 3 Laung (clove) buds and 1 teaspoonful of fresh grated Adraka (ginger). Mix them in a glass of water and boil the entire mixture until the quantity of water is halved. Filter and add a teaspoonful of honey. Your Ayurvedic decoction is ready. Take this decoction twice daily. Herbs: Mix ½ to 1 teaspoonful of Sitopaladi Churna with 1 teaspoonful of honey and have it twice daily. Havan : Agnihotra or Havan is a nice way of purifying the environment. Use Ayurvedic herbs such as Guggul and Havan Samagri (mixture of herbs). Burn natural incense such as Chandan (sandal), lavender and Kesar (saffron) in order to sterilise your surroundings. Golden Milk: Add ¼ teaspoonful of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk. Drink it every night. Avoid: For mental strength, avoid all junk foods and foods that are frozen, deep-fried or extremely sour. Meditation: For spiritual power, do the Jiva Meditation on a daily basis. Jivananda: Practice Jivananda lifestyle regimen regularly. Hope the above pieces of advice will help you fight the deadly virus naturally. They can be followed even when you are continuing with modern medication.