Wednesday, February 25, 2015

No need to vaccinate people against swine flu: says India's Health Minister Nadda

NEW DELHI, The government Tuesday told parliament that there was no need as of now to vaccinate the general public from swine flu.

"The morbidity and mortality associated with the influenza are matters of great concern for all of us," union Health Minister J.P. Nadda said in a statement made in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

He informed parliament that while declaring the pandemic to be over in 2010, the WHO had declared that the swine flu virus would circulate as a seasonal virus for some years now.

Nadda said that many of the deaths due to the virus this year are due to co-morbid conditions already present in patients like diabetes, heart conditions and cancer.

"Vaccination is not recommended for general public as of now," he said, adding his ministry has been closely monitoring the scene.

"States have been provided guidelines for screening and management of cases," he said.

The minister said that Oseltamivir, the drug which can cure the disease, preventive N-95 masks and other personal protection equipment are being given to state governments.

"We have already supplied 58,000 capsules of Oseltamivir," he added."Teams from the union health ministry have been sent to worst affected states like Telangana, Rajasthan and Gujarat," Nadda said.

While maintaining that there was no shortage of drugs, the health minister cautioned that the drugs cannot be used in an irresponsible manner which will create resistance to the medicine.

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