Chennai, November 29

T

amil Nadu Health Minister Ma. Subramanian on Wednesday said that the public health department is carefully investigating the fevers that occur in children at a time when there is a surge in respiratory illness cases in China.

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He said that although the new type of fever has not been detected in Tamil Nadu, but fever camps are being conducted regularly to detect the ongoing rainy season outbreaks.

"Pneumonia fever has been detected in China. It has been found to affect children more. In this regard, the public health department is very carefully investigating the fevers that occur in children. The new type of fever has not been detected anywhere in Tamil Nadu. However, fever camps are being conducted every week to detect the ongoing rainy season outbreaks. This will be held every Saturday for another 5 weeks," Ma. Subramanian said.

TS Selvavinayagam, Director, of Tamil Nadu Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said that there is no need to be alarmed amid the emergence of a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China.

"It has got two components. One is critical surveillance. We have already established the surveillance part, where we will be requesting all the institutions to report to us on the Integrated Health Information Portal (IHIP). With regard to infrastructure, our team is capable of expanding the required infrastructure at any time," Selvavinayagam said.

"Surveillance is a critical part of this mission on which we are concentrating. It is to track whether any cases are emerging or not. There are no significant cases as of now. There is no need to be alarmed as of now," he added.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has proactively reviewed and strengthened preparedness measures against respiratory illness in the country.

As per sources, the ministry has strengthened the preparedness through the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

In view of recent reports of a surge in respiratory illnesses in children in northern China, health departments in States and Union territories across the country have been put on alert.

"Multipronged surveillance for respiratory infections has been reviewed and strengthened through NCDC and ICMR systems," a source told ANI.

Sources further said that the Central government is keeping a close watch on developments in other countries too and is constantly in touch with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Recently, the Union Health Ministry issued an advisory to states/UTs' to immediately review public health and hospital preparedness against respiratory illnesses, as a matter of abundant caution.

"Notably, it is important in view of ongoing influenza and winter season that results in an increase in respiratory illness cases," it said, underlining that there is "no need for alarm".

"Government of India is closely monitoring the situation and indicated that there is no need for any alarm. In a letter by the Union Health Secretary to States and Union Territories, they have been advised to immediately review public health and hospital preparedness measures viz. availability of HR, hospital beds, drugs and vaccines for influenza, medical oxygen, antibiotics, personal protective equipment, testing kits and reagents, functionality of oxygen plants and ventilators, infection control practices in health facilities, at a senior level", the ministry said.

All States and Union Territories have been advised to implement 'Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of COVID-19', shared earlier this year, which provides for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI), the notification read.

Pneumonia outbreak in China: Public health department investigating fevers in children, says Tamil Nadu Minister

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