‘Eleven Lankans test positive for A (H1N1) Influenza’

(TheIndependent) - Signaling a possible epidemic, the Health Ministry yesterday said that 11 Lankans had tested positive for Influenza A (H1N1) over a period of one month. That was out of the 566 samples taken from suspected cases.

Health Ministry spokesman Dharma Wanninayake said that the Ministry, in collaboration with the Epidemiology Unit (EU) and the Medical Research Institute (MRI), had taken several measures to bring the situation under control following signs of an outbreak of the virus.

Wanninayake said that a special discussion had been held on Tuesday (April 30) among Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Palitha Mahipala, EU Chief Dr. Paba Palihawadana and MRI Director Dr. Anil Samaranayake on the issue. A decisions was taken to follow the directives that were given earlier when the country first faced the Influenza A (H1N1) condition in early 2000. All hospital directors would be issued circulars to be on stand by in case of an increase in the number of Influenza patients, while hospital staff were scheduled to be given special training on patient care. Hospital staff would also be administered the Influenza

A(H1N1) vaccine as a precautionary measure.

A decisions was also taken during the discussions to provide ‘Tami flu’ the drug prescribed for the virus condition, to all hospitals and health institutions, he said. All reports of patients with A (H1N1) would be provided to the EU.


The A (H1N1) infection follows on the heals of the two maternal deaths due to the Influenza A virus which occurred at the Castle Street Hospital for Women last week. The Health Ministry spokesman said that young children, pregnant mothers, adults over 60 years of age, patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory infections were among the vulnerable groups. Cough, fever breathing difficulties and body pain were the main symptoms of the disease, he said appealing to all persons with symptoms to seek immediate medical attention.

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