AP: Swine Flu Reported in Tirupati City

The temple town is seeing a heavy rush of pilgrims to the Lord Venkateswara temple and authorities say situation is under control and there is no need to panic

Three cases of swine flu, one of them fatal have been reported in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati city which is seeing a heavy rush of pilgrims to the hilltop Lord Venkateswara Swamy temple.

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Chittoor Collector PS Pradyumna, who reviewed the situation Monday, said necessary measures were being taken and there was “no need to panic”.

Chittoor district medical and health officer (DMHO) B. Ramagiddaiah told media that three persons with swine flu symptoms were admitted in the shrine board-run Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) in the last three days and one of them, a woman from Gangadharanellore of Chittoor, died of “other” complications.

The collector, who reviewed the situation in a teleconference with medical and health department officials, said that “there is nothing to worry about”.

Special wards will be created in SVIMs and Sri Ramnarayana Rua hospital for treatment of patients suffering with swine flu symptoms, he said, adding: “There is no need for anyone to panic… the situation is completely under control”.

The DMHO said medical teams were posted at the airport at Renigunta, the bus station complex and railway station in Tirupati, apart from launching awareness campaigns.

The shrine of lord Balaji on Tirumala hills continue to receive heavy rush of pilgrims ranging up to 1 lakh a day for the last few days since Purattasi masam falling in September is believed to be auspicious by people of the neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

The authorities are taking precautionary action in the pilgrim towns of Tirupati and Tirumala where the Venkateshwara temple is located.. “Masks are being widely distributed to the pilgrims at airports, railway stations and bus station complex to check the spread of the virus causing swine flu”, Ramagiddaiah said.

He also said that the incidence of swine flu in Tirupati in the current year is relatively low compared to the previous year, with nine cases reported in the January -September period against 232 in the corresponding period last year.

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