Do not take swine flu threat lightly: Experts

KATHMANDU: Health experts today urged people not to panic about the spread of the pandemic A (H1N1) virus (swine flu). They, however, warned not to take the threat lightly.

Addressing an interaction programme, Dr Senendra Raj Upreti, director, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD), said they were introducing Rapid Test facilities in regional as well as district hospitals in two weeks. The major challenge was to educate the public to take precautions and prevent the spread of the disease, he added. He also opined that the resources spent on setting up health desks at several check-points should instead be saved to bring in Tamiflu for swine flu infected patients.

Upreti said patients detected with symptoms of swine flu had been cured. He added that the EDCD had been preparing a media campaign to create awareness about the pandemic.

Minister for Health and Population Uma Kanta Chaudhary said the government was committed to providing health facilities to all citizens. The government is providing free health treatment services to people infected with A (H1N1) and has stocked 37,000 doses of Tamiflu.

Dr Samir Dixit, country director of Centre for Molecular Dynamic Nepal said they were willing to cooperate and collaborate with the government and provide free health services to the patients.

Dr Nirmal Kandel, representative of the World Health Organisation said though the disease could not be prevented from spreading, the mortality rate from the disease was as low as 0.5 per cent.