The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya School in Kasargode is treating affected children within the school premises so as to isolate the virus outbreak
An outbreak of H1N1 viral infection has been reported in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Kasargode district, the northern district in Kerala bordering Karnataka, and tests have confirmed five cases, a senior state health official said.
“Forty-two students have been isolated in the hostel. One of the matrons is also affected,” Rajeev Sadanandan, Kerala’s Health Secretary, told The Lede.
“H1N1 outbreak in Navodaya residential school hostel started from 20 February. Out of the 520 inmates, 81 developed symptoms. Thirty-five were cured and we have isolated 42 students in the hostel. 5 samples tested positive for H1N1. One of the matrons has also been affected,” the official added.
Influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged in 2009. It is a new re-assortment (a process by which influenza viruses swap gene segments) that has never before circulated among humans. This virus is not closely related to previous or current human seasonal influenza viruses. H1N1 is an airborne disease and can spread from coughs and sneezes. Handshakes, hugs, kissing, sharing drinks or sharing blankets can also spread the virus.
Meanwhile, the state Health Secretary said that the medicine Oseltamivir’s availability was ensured. Oseltamivir is an antiviral medication that blocks the actions of influenza virus types A and B in your body. Oseltamivir is used to treat influenza in people from two weeks of age who have had flu symptoms for two days or less.
“District Rapid Response Team has visited the school and hostel and taken all preventive measures. The Periya team of Community Healthcare Centre visited the school and conducted medical camp and awareness class is given. Daily surveillance is going on,” he added.
Meanwhile, KM Vijayakrishnan, the principal of the school, said that affected children are isolated and a special team under District Medical Officer is monitoring the situation.
“As this is a residential school and children are from different parts of the country, we cannot send them back. If the affected children travel and they don’t get proper treatment at their home place, it would be risky. So we are treating them here. The dormitory where the affected children are kept has been isolated. The school will function as usual,” the principal told The Lede.
According to the National Centre for Disease Control data, in 2018, in Kerala, there were 879 H1N1 cases and 53 deaths.
In 2017, the number of cases reported in the state was 1414 and 76 deaths happened.
And this year, till February 17 in the state, there were 153 cases reported and there were four deaths.
In India, there were 14, 992 cases and 1103 deaths in 2018.