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Delhi: Swine Flu claims 11 lives in January


The national capital has seen an alarming rise in the number of swine flu cases with at least 479 people testing positive for the infectious seasonal influenza and two government hospitals reporting a combined death toll of 11, so far this year.
Delhi has witnessed a rise in the number of swine flu cases this year, with 479 people diagnosed with the disease so far, which is an increase from the total 205 cases reported in the entire year of 2018, according to a report by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
"Till January 28, a total of 18 people were admitted with symptoms of swine flu at the Safdarjung Hospital out of which three have died this January. The three who died were from Uttar Pradesh," an official from the hospital said.
A 35-year-old became the youngest to have succumbed to the respiratory disease at the hospital, the official said.
At the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) a spokesperson said eight people had died from swine flu and out of the 15 admitted with H1N1 influenza symptoms, this month, four were discharged and three persons were undergoing treatment.
Swine flu cases generally rise in the winter season and a majority of people contracting the disease in the month of December and January. Recently BJP President Amit Shah was discharged after being hospitalized with swine flu.
"H1N1 is now the circulating virus and with seasonal change we see an increase in cases. One reason is that with an increased awareness, there is more testing is being done and so we are picking up more cases. Secondly the number of patients presenting with the symptoms has increased," Dr Karan Madan, spokesperson, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) said
"Doctors, nurses and those working in medical facilities along with high-risk group patients, the elderly and children below eight years should be vaccinated for flu. Cough hygiene and handwashing are the important precautions to be taken," he said.
Initially, H1N1 symptoms are similar to normal influenza with symptoms like fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, body ache, cough, diarrhoea and vomiting among others. The contagious virus spreads through saliva or mucus of the infected person. People might also contract the infection by touching surfaces covered by the virus and then touching their eyes or nose.
"Those with severe flu present symptoms like breathing problems, increased coughing, fainting, and vomiting need to test for flu and start medication, he said.
Notably, apart from Delhi, Rajasthan and other parts of the country too are witnessing a spike in cases of H1N1 seasonal influenza, also known as swine flu.
According to data compiled by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Rajasthan is the worst affected in the country with at least 1,856 (40 per cent) of the total cases being reported from the state as of January 27. The state has witnessed 72 deaths in the past month.
Incidentally, NCDC has not reported any deaths from swine flu in Delhi.
A total of 169 people died in the country of swine flu according to NCDC.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 8:43 PM IST

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