There seems to be a lot of disinformation and panic due to swine flu today. This real experience may help.
One of my friends is actually down with swine flu and is now recovering well in the Tondiarpet hospital. He came down with flu like symptoms late last week. Over the weekend he went to the King's Institute in Chennai and they took a sample. He says the outpatient room there looked scary. The King's Institute is open for testing 24 hours.
About 24 hours after the test they called him and asked him to check himself into the Tondiarpet Communicable diseases hospital in Chennai. He asked if he could be quarantined at home but the TN government has not decided about home quarantine yet, so that choice was not available.
The isolation ward at Tondiarpet hospital is apparently in a new building and looked much nicer than what we usually expect from a GH. The wards are airconditioned and though multiple patients are in the same large room, there is a good distance separating them. My friend says the doctors are very good, very communicative, and the bathrooms are clean. Medical care is good. But everyone there (patients) is bored out of their minds because there is nothing to do. Most of the patients are children. The average stay there is 5 - 7 days.
The capacity at his government hospital is only 15 beds, so we can assume that as a practical matter, once the flu spreads to more people, government isolation wards will get filled up. The government also seems to have woken up to this and is now saying that they will allow selected private hospitals to have isolation units. IMO, home quarantine maybe the only practical solution especially in our country.
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