SHILLONG, April 24 � There is little chance of spread of swine flu in the Northeastern region as the air-borne H1N1 virus usually moves faster in overcrowded and more polluted metro cities, Additional DG of Union Health Ministry Dr Ashok Kumar said today.
�It is a myth that swine flu will spread in North East where there is good air exchange. In the North East, the air is relatively clean and there are lesser people,� Kumar said at the sideline of a two-day regional consultative seminar cum workshop on swine-flu and other infectious diseases here.
Kumar, who had led at least three Central teams to Telengana, Maharashtra and Karnataka, said 80 per cent of the cases were detected in overcrowded Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru but none in interior villages where his team had gone.
�In North East I do not think we need to worry. The good advantages are that in NE there is less pollution and there is great air exchange in hilly areas,� he said.
The official, however, cautioned that the health authorities would have to be vigilant and at the same time strengthen surveillance.
On the isolation of patients, Kumar said, �every patient need not be isolated. What we need is early detection. If the patient has gone into category B, start the drug and as long as the drug is taken there is no need to be afraid.�
�We need to admit only C category people. These people probably who got the lower lung infection are more susceptible to the virus. Or they were having TB or diabetes. The increased level of blood sugar which allows living organism to grow very fast and healing doesn�t take place,� he said.
While 2,600 people in the country have died due to the H1N1 virus, Kumar said, �the deaths indicate that there has been delay in detecting and testing the patients. � PTI