LAHORE - Health professionals on Monday confirmed one more death in Lahore due to H1N1 infection.

So far Swine Flu has taken nine lives in the province including four in Multan, three in Lahore and two in Faisalabad.

Syed Zahid Abbas Shah, 36, a resident of Manga Mandi, was brought to Social Security Hospital Multan Road where he died after remaining under treatment for a week. On suspicion of Swine Flu, his blood sample was sent to National Institute of Health. According to the sources, NIH confirmed on Monday that the deceased was H1N1 positive.

Meanwhile, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Secretary Health Punjab Dr Ijaz Munir to review situation of H1N1 influenza “A” in Punjab. Special Secretary Health Farasat Iqbal, Secretary Livestock Dr Ijaz, DG Health Dr Zahid Pervaiz, Prof Farkhanda Kokab, Dean Institute of Public Health Prof Muaz Ahmed, DG PITB Ch Muhammad Omer, Prof Irshad Ahmed, Additional Secretary Health (Technical) Dr Salman Shahid, WHOs Operational Officer Dr Babar Alam and other officers attended the meeting.

Dr Babar Alam informed the meeting that cases of influenza reported in Punjab, were not of swine flu but of H1N1 influenza “A”, also known as seasonal flu. Director General Health informed that necessary guidelines according to the instructions of WHO and SOPs for diagnosis and treatment of influenza “A” patients have been circulated to all the public sector hospitals and health institutions. He further informed that sufficient stock of tamiflu tablets was available in Health Department and this medicine has also been provided to hospitals. Moreover, isolation wards also been set up in government hospitals.

Additional Director Epidemic, Response and Control Dr Jaffar Ilyas informed the meeting that at present no confirm patient of H1N1 influenza was under treatment at government hospitals. He further informed that unfortunately nine deaths have been reported due to H1N1 influenza.

Secretary Livestock informed that experts had collected random samples from poultry farms of Multan, Lahore and other districts and all were negative. The health experts stressed the need to adopt preventive measures against influenza “A”.

Prof Farkhanda Kokab said that patients of common flu should also use handkerchief and tissue papers while sneezing and refrain from going to public places. Secretary Health directed the officers of the department to launch special awareness campaign against H1N1 influenza “A” and other measures should be taken for early control of the disease. He said that doctors and nurses should adopt preventive measures while examining / treatment of patients according to the guidelines provided by the department.