Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe said the Influenza virus spreading in the south has been fully controlled. “Only seven persons have died from the Influenza virus up to now. All media reports on various higher number of deaths are wrong.
People do not need to panic and the disease is at a controllable level, he said yesterday. There is no increase in the disease.The spread of the disease within hospitals has been fully controlled. Only between 500 to 600 patients receive medical treatment at the moment, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said.
Addressing a press conference held at the Government Information Department Auditorium in Colombo yesterday he said that the drug, Tamiflu had been provided adequately for all required hospitals, especially the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Matara Hospital and the Kamburupitiya Hospital including high floor oxygen (nasal cannulas). Face masks have been provided for health staff. High floor oxygen (nasal cannulas) have been sent to these hospitals.
The Karapitiya Teaching Hospital Director has been authorised to purchase more high floor oxygen nasal cannulas. Over 1,000 posters have been distributed through MOHs and regional/provincial institution network in order to educate the public by displaying them in public places. I speak with the hospital authorities and monitor the situation in the morning and evening every day, he said.
Consultant Epidemiologist Dr. Samitha Ginige said complications are reported from child patients below two years and the most serious complication is pneumonia. But there are a lot of causes for pneumonia and Influenza is only one of them. There is a slight increase in Influenza patients from all parts of the country. Dr. Ginige said persons in the high risk group such as children below two years, pregnant mothers, lactating mothers, elders above 65, persons who suffer from other chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney diseases, heart diseases, respiratory diseases and have weak immunity should seek medical treatment and follow medical advice.
Patients with flu like symptoms should consume more liquid, keep themselves away from other family members, avoid crowded places and keep a good personal hygiene. Droplets can spread the virus within one metre. Even a healthy person can develop complications and therefore all should be vigilant about persisting or worsening Influenza condition.
The Nipah virus causes complications in the brain and it is entirely different from the Influenza virus, he said. MRI’s Consultant Virologist Dr. Jude Jayamaha said the MRI had used the PCR test to examine several phlegm samples and many of them were positive for Influenza A. The Nipah virus reported from Kerala, South India is totally different from the Influenza virus. The two viruses belong to two virus families, he said