Ayyappa pilgrims advised to take swine flu vaccine

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Government on Wednesday advised pilgrims to get vaccinated against AH1N1 influenza two-three weeks before beginning their pilgrimage to Sabarimala since it involves mingling with huge crowds.

Stating that the prevalence of AH1N1 influenza was quite high in all States, the health department in a statement here also advised pilgrims to use the AH1N1 medicine -"Oseltamivir" currently available in all government hospitals, health centres and select private hospitals in Kerala "free-of-cost".

Pilgrims were also advised to postpone their travel to Sabarimala by two weeks if they have symptoms of flu like fever, cough, cold or sore throat, it said.

It also urged pilgrims to seek treatment promptly if they developed flu symptoms during their journey to the hill shrine.