H1N1 cases to come under three categories
Has the virus mutated?
- For combating H1N1, Centre has come up with guidelines to be followed by States.
- The Centre has asked States to categorise cases into three Category - CategoryA, Category B and Category C for screening, isolation and hospitalisation.
- In Category A will be those who do not require testing for H1N1 and no treatment with Oseltamivir.Patients with mild fever, cough and sore throat, body ache, headache, nausea and diarrhoea will be put in Category A and can be monitored for 24-48 hours. These patients will be advised to stay at home and not mingle with the others.
- In Category B will be those which have all the symptoms of Category A, but have high-grade fever and are in high-risk category; they will need treatment with Oseltamivir. The patient need to confined at home.
- In Category C will be those who have all the signs and symptoms of Category A and B and depending on their health condition will have to be hospitalised. If the patients have breathlessness, chest pain, drowsiness, fall in blood pressure, sputum mixed with blood, bluish discolouration of nails they will need to be immediately started on the medicine and hospitalised.
- As per the Union Health Ministry, the virus has not mutated and it is possible to cure it with the available medicine.
- Tests conducted by the National Institute of Virology in Pune and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have shown it is the same strain that led to the 2009 pandemic((of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world).
What is Oseltamivir(Tamiflu)?
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is an antiviral medication that blocks the actions of influenza virus types A and B in our body. It is taken orally. Tamilu (oseltamivir phosphate) is available as capsules containing 30 mg, 45 mg, or 75 mg oseltamivir for oral use, in the form of oseltamivir phosphate, and as a powder for oral suspension, which when constituted with water as directed contains 6 mg/mL oseltamivir base.
What is influenza A and B?
There are three types of influenza viruses: A, B and C. Human influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease. The emergence of a new and very different influenza virus to infect people can cause an influenza pandemic. Influenza type C infections cause a mild respiratory illness and are not thought to cause epidemics.
Influenza A :
Influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on the surface of the virus: the hemagglutinin (H) and the neuraminidase (N). There are 18 different hemagglutinin subtypes and 11 different neuraminidase subtypes. (H1 through H18 and N1 through N11 respectively.)
Influenza A viruses can be further broken down into different strains. Current subtypes of influenza A viruses found in people are influenza A (H1N1) and influenza A (H3N2) viruses.
Influenza B :
Unlike type A flu viruses, type B flu is found only in humans. Type B flu may cause a less severe reaction than type A flu virus, but occasionally, type B flu can still be extremely harmful. Influenza type B viruses are not classified by subtype and do not cause pandemics.
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Harpreet Singh and Vijay Kumar at 2010 Commonwelth Games, Delhi