Swine flu deaths in the neighborhood of Goa at Pune, has left the establishment in Goa worried and anxious about the dangerous dimensions of the fast spreading H1N1 virus in the country. So far, the city of Pune in Maharashtra was the worst hit by the disease with four deaths confirmed while another six more persons were reported to be currently battling for their lives after being afflicted with the deadly virus. So far the country has seen over seven people claimed by the dreaded disease of swine flu mainly from Pune, Mumbai and one death from Chennai.
Goa, in the meanwhile is grappling with patients regularly showing up with the virus which so far has not proved fatal in the state. In the latest round of people suspected to be infected with swine flu, four people have been currently identified and their throat swabs have been sent to the national Institute of communicable diseases New Delhi on the 9th August 2009 (Monday). While two of these persons had arrived from Pune and Mumbai, the third is a woman from Brazil while the fourth is a man who had come in contact with a swine flu patient.
With the virus threatening to spread and new cases being detected everyday, the Goa government has however ruled out the closure of schools and colleges unlike some swine flu affected areas of the country. The administration has however stated that teachers, staff members and students showing symptoms of swine flu will be allowed to stay home for a period of upto ten days and waived the need to produce a medical certificate for the specified period.
The state authorities are also finding it to be a herculean task to screen every person entering Goa for Swine flu and the health authorities are instead encouraging people who suspect that they may have contracted the virus , to get themselves screened voluntarily.
It is found that out of the 40 suspected cases of swine flu in Goa, around thirteen were detected through screening by the swine flu squad at Dabolim airport but the remaining 27 persons had approached the government hospitals or a private doctor on their own volition thereby being referred to the swine flu squad. The state figures have reported that over 14 persons had directly approached the government hospitals once they suspected to have contracted the influenza while around 13 individuals were known to be referred by private practitioners.
Any person who may have traveled from a swine flu-affected country or state in the last 10 days and showed symptoms of influenza A (H1N1) that include fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing should immediately contact the Goa Medical college and hospital Bambolim or the cottage hospital at Chicalim.
Government agencies in Goa are expected to follow up on their meetings with private doctors in Goa by launching a massive campaign to inform and educate the Goan public about swine flu and its dos, dont's and necessary precautions.
Meanwhile Goans in Pune studying in various colleges were suddenly left stranded without a college to attend or a hostel to reside when both such places were mostly closed down asking students to leave in view of the swine flu outbreak ion the area. As a result the large Goan population in Pune is forced to make their way back to Goa with no place to go.