Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Swine Flu Looming at the Indo-Pak Border: Is Pakistan Ready to Tackle the Potential Threat?

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Swine Flu Looming at the Indo-Pak Border: Is Pakistan Ready to Tackle the Potential Threat?

Article excerpt

Dear Editor,

Since the start of January 2015, swine flu has taken more than 750 lives and approximately 11,000 people have tested positive for the deadly virus in India.1 The majority of swine flu cases have been reported from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in India. Since Pakistan shares the border with the Indian state of Rajasthan, the potential threat of the virus crossing the border into Pakistan was a matter of great concern for the Pakistani health authorities.

In view of the large number of cases in India, the health advisor for Pakistan asked for immediate precautionary measures to be implemented in Pakistani Punjab. Measures will be based on the guidelines provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta and World Health Organization (WHO) for that province. Surveillance staffhave been recruited and provided with the necessary training in order to deal with the threat. The surveillance staffconsist of officers and experts from the Health Department, livestock industry, University of Animal Sciences, WHO, rangers, Pakistan railways and Institute of Public Health. Flu vaccine and medicine have been disseminated in abundance to the various hospitals in Punjab. Hospitals have been instructed to test all incoming flu patients for H1N1 and to immediately isolate them in case they test positive. Strict orders have been issued to screen all visitors coming from India at the Wagha Border, Gurdawaras, Lahore Railway Station and airports. …

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