Indian States on Alert as China Faces Respiratory Illness Outbreak

Indian states on alert as respiratory illnesses surge in China; vulnerable groups at higher risk. Symptoms and precautions mentioned. precautions mentioned.

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Six Indian states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Haryana, and Tamil Nadu, have put their healthcare infrastructure on alert following the Centre's directive to review preparedness in light of a surge in respiratory illnesses in China. The Karnataka Health Department has urged people to be aware of seasonal flu, particularly its higher risk to vulnerable groups such as infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, loss of appetite, and a dry cough lasting up to three weeks.

Rajasthan's medical and health department has advised its staff to remain vigilant and form rapid response teams. Gujarat's Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Rushikesh Patel, stated that the state has inspected oxygen tanks, ventilators, and bed availability in preparation for potential cases. Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj mentioned receiving a general advisory from the central government, urging states to take appropriate actions if specific advisories are issued.

China has reported a rise in respiratory illnesses, especially among children, which has been linked to the simultaneous circulation of various pathogens, including influenza. As videos of packed hospitals circulate on social media, a senior WHO official noted that the increase may be driven by children contracting pathogens they had avoided during two years of Covid restrictions. The situation is being closely monitored by authorities in India as they work to ensure readiness and prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.