Nearly 708 cases of swine flu have been reported across the country this swine flu season, with the Northern states worst hit by the virus due to a prolonged winter. However, various state governments and the Central government have said that they are monitoring the situation and it’s ‘under control’. Here is the latest swine flu news from across the country.
On Friday three more people tested positive for the virus as there was a surge in demand for swine flu vaccine and tamilfu tablets to treat the influenza. 64 deaths have already been reported in the state with Jaipur alone has 20 people who’ve died in the last 45 days. Since December, 450 people have succumbed to the virus in the state. The numbers of cases of swine flu have increased this year compared to last year.
A 27 year man succumbed to the diseases in New Delhi taking the death toll in the capital to five this year. The man was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and his condition was grave, hospital sources said. The hospital is one the 23 designated by the state government for treatment of the ailment. Also, 47 fresh cases of swine flu were detected on Thursday, taking the total toll to 253.
The disease has claimed 23 lives in Gujarat since winter and 82 patients are being treated according to state government officials. ‘There have been 23 deaths due to swine flu in the state since the latest outbreak of the disease this season. Eighty- two people are being treated in various hospitals,’ Nitin Patel, Health Minister and Gujarat government spokesperson, told media persons here. The disease has become more serious due to the prolonged winter.
Punjab and Haryana
Since Jan 1, the disease has claimed 48 lives in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh and the number of cases constantly rising. ”In view of rising number of cases, what additional steps need to be taken and what guidelines need to be followed were discussed at a high-level meeting today. Though there has been a sudden spurt in cases this year, we are on alert and prepared to deal with the situation,” Punjab Health and Family Welfare Director Ashok Nayar said. The situation is being reviewed at a meeting of senior health officials and medical professionals from private and public colleges.
Both Mumbai and Pune, particularly Pune where there was a high number of cases of H1N1 over the years have witnessed a return of the H1N1 virus and experts believe that the virus has become endemic in Pune now. Recently, two Mulund residents in Mumbai tested positive for the virus but it was revealed that they picked it up from Delhi. From 415 deaths in 2009-10 and 525 in 2010-11, the number of deaths had decreased in the 2011-12 to just 12. However, the disease has made a return with 126 in the 2012-2013 period. Since January, Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad has reported four deaths.
Swine flu isn’t a disease that you can catch from pigs. It is in fact, a human virus that spreads from one human to another. The virus is extremely contagious. Here are some swine flu prevention tips:
- It can spread through coughing and sneezing so always cover your face while doing so. And make sure people around you in office or home also follow this.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth too often
- Maintain a high level of personal hygiene. Always wash your hands before or after eating and particularly after returning from a public place.
- Sometimes virus can spread through droplets that have remained on surfaces of things like laptops, phones so avoid using someone else’s items.
- Avoid public places, unhygienic conditions, etc.
- If your city/area is swine-flu endemic, always wear a standard swine flu mask in public places (the H-95 mask which is worn by nurses and doctors while collecting samples from swine flu victims). Normal surgical masks which sell like hot cakes during swine flu season might not give enough protection.
- If you feel sick and look like you are developing a cold or fever, stay at home and take enough rest. Rest has also been shown to increase ‘interferons’ which help our immunity to fight the virus better. Keeping away from others also prevents spread of the infection.
Also read: Swine flu: All you need to know