PARBAT: An eight-member medical team, led by Dr Bishworaj Khanal, senior epidemiologist at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, arrived here today to take stock of the situation after as many as nine people tested positive to swine flu here in the district.

The medicos on assignment discussed with the District Hospital Development Committee officials on ways to control the outbreak. The team will also examine the patients.

The situation of the flu patients is said to be normal and no new case has been reported. Nine persons, who were caught by viral fever that broke out in the district 10 days ago, were diagnosed affected by the flu.

Khanal informed that around 141 patients had their health checked up in various health facilities on Saturday. He said that the patients suffering from common cold are also visiting health centres for check up.

He said that they were collecting samples and would conduct lab test in national health laboratory once they would return to the capital.

Army personnel, who were infected with the disease have returned to their works. Condition of the ill students is also normal. Kusma, the district headquarters, bears a deserted look as villagers have stopped coming here fearing swine flu. But the number of patients is growing in adjoining VDCs.

Common cold and fever cases are on the rise in Khurkot, Pang, Bajung, Deupur, Athar, Lunkhu and Pakhapani VDCs. Medicines and health workers have been readied in view of a possible outbreak.

Meanwhile, local administration has alerted people not to hold any gathering. Chief District Officer Pitambar Ghimire said that all bodies at the local level had been mobilised to help stop the further spread of the disease.

Latest info on govt portal 3-month old

Kathmandu: People are in a state of panic due to the recorded cases of swine flu (pandemic influenza A H1N1) in Parbat and Baglung districts recently. But the official website of the government, which has to regularly inform its visitors of the current status of the killer disease, has not been updated from the last three months.

The last time the government's official website —www.nheicc.gov.np — updated was on 27th August, 2009. And the reason: there is lack of manpower to do the job.

"Lack of skilled human resource at National Health, Education, Information and Communication Centre is preventing us to add the latest information," said Badri Bahadur Khadka, senior health and education administrator at the centre. The body is under the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP). He informed that they had appointed Anil Neupane, a contractor to do the same. "But as he is out of the country for over three months now, no one has been asked to do his job," he said. Ironically, MoHP has been frequently urging people to visit the website for the timely update regarding the disease through various advertisements.

Khadka accused MoHP of not providing timely information for its update. "Though it lacks the recent information about the spread of the disease, the website contains complete information regarding the symptom and prevention," he said. Khadka was, however, of the opinion that there was no need of the frequent updates. — HNS