Until recently, the test for the H1N1 virus (swine flu) has not gone beyond that of critically ill and hospitalised patients. With a high number of reported cases (4,350) and some deaths (449) recorded across the state, private labs stood to ensure that such tests are made available for suspected patients with H1N1 who are not hospitalised.

More labs start the test for H1N1 Virus

Formerly, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) based in Pune was the only laboratory that conducted tests on throat swab samples to ascertain the presence of the H1N1 virus. However, following the rising number of patients, the stated mandated up to 23 other labs including Golwilkar, SRL to conduct the H1N1 test.

Lately, many laboratories under Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations and Bombay began the test of samples that were sent by clinicians to patients with the symptoms of the H1N1 virus, and those whom other antibiotics treatments have failed to alleviate.

Test will reach non-hospitalised patients

The acting joint director of health, Dr M S Diggikar came for the meeting; she stated that there were limits and barriers on the readiness of these tests for patients in another category. Diggikar said if clinicians suspect the H1N1 virus, they can suggest a test of the sample by a designated lab in the state. She went on to say that Pune has about eight labs that run such test.

However, laboratories agree that they only conducted these tests on patients recommended by the government. The meeting addressed this and enjoined these laboratories to provide these tests to those who possess the symptoms of the H1N1 but were not hospitalised.

NIV offered the test kit and given to laboratories to conduct the H1N1 tests to ascertain or denounce the H1N1 virus. The cost of the tests goes high up to Rs5,200, and the labs are demanded the state cut down the rate of the test.

Increasing cases of Dengue and Malaria

According to the state health authorities, about 718 cases of dengue have been found since January, with about three registered death. Of the three deaths, two were from Pune. Around 8,255 malaria cases have been reported just between January and July with a greater number in Gadchiroli (2,539) and Mumbai (2,611). 242 cases of dengue have been recorded in the PMC area, and the authorities are surveying to find the breeding sites.

Residents are now complying, as can be seen in the report by the Indrayani international school that talks about a breeding site for mosquitoes near the school.Principal Nikita Damle stated that both the students and the teachers are bent on the awareness campaign about the ailment.