Spike in fever cases is not abnormal, Tamil Nadu health minister says | Chennai News

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has 282 active cases of H1N1 and 243 cases of dengue, besides other cases of viral infection including flu, health minister Ma Subramanian said on Thursday.
“This is fever season, and a spike in fever cases is not abnormal. The spike is not abnormal compared to what we saw in the past years. We have adequate doctors, beds, and hospitals to treat people,” he said after inspecting fever wards at the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children.
Of the 282 H1N1 cases, 13 patients were admitted to government hospitals, 215 to private hospitals and 54 of them were in home isolation.
“In this hospital, there are 837 beds. Children from across the state get admitted here for treatment of various conditions. Today, 129 children were admitted for fever and 18 of them have dengue. None of them has H1N1,” he said.
The hospital follows the state protocol for testing H1N1 cases.
“If children come in with flu-like illness, we don’t test them for H1N1 unless they show signs of distress. We have tested around 10 children over the last one week and all were negative,” said senior paediatrician Dr S Srinivasan, who heads the neonatal intensive care unit at the Institute of Child Health.
“In many cases when there is a suspicion, we administer the antiviral oseltamivir – the drug of choice for H1N1 – even without testing. Children recover quickly too,” he said.
In the past two to three years, the cases of influenza and other viral infections were low due to the Covid-19 pandemic protocols such as lockdown, masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene. “Today neither the children nor adults follow them. Viruses have many hosts, and the transmission rate increases,” he said.
Children and adults complain of sneezing, cough, cold, headache, throat pain and fatigue. Some people require hospitalisation and ICU admissions.
“Most of this can be prevented by following respiratory and hand hygiene. Prevention and containment methods for Covid-19 work for all flu-like ailments,” Subramanian said.
The health department has released standard protocols for management of fever, H1N1 influenza and dengue to hospitals across the state. It is important for people to get the right diagnosis before they pop in pills, he said.
“While hospitals have been asked to notify health authorities about H1N1 and dengue cases, pharmacies have been instructed not to sell medicines for fever without prescriptions,” he said.
The public health department is yet to release the death toll due to influenza and dengue.

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