At least 100 H1N1 cases in Bengaluru in Oct

At least 100 H1N1 cases in Bengaluru in Oct

An H1N1 awareness message displayed at the metro stations on Wednesday.

More than 600 cases of Influenza A (H1N1) were reported in Karnataka in October, including over 100 in Bengaluru alone. At least three people succumbed to the infection. 

In all, 895 people have tested positive for H1N1 in the state since January, including 172 cases in Bengaluru. Twelve people have died in the state. 

But official records of H1N1 deaths do not match the number of fatalities being recorded at the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases. The RGICD has recorded at least 13 H1N1 deaths in Bengaluru. Some deaths were also reported in the city's private hospitals. 

That's not all. Many doctors at private hospitals have not been able to diagnose the flu from the symptoms of patients. Many patients visiting private hospitals are being treated for cold and fever. They are referred to hospitals like the RGICD only when their condition worsens. 

Dr Prakash Kumar B G, deputy director, communicable diseases, health and family welfare department, agreed that many private hospitals were still unaware of the line of diagnosis and treatment. "We gave orientation to doctors of private hospitals sometime ago. They might need another orientation to understand the flu and the line of treatment," he said. 

Dr Prakash said the way the H1N1 virus spreads is different each year; sometimes it spreads in January and sometimes in September. With the onset of winter, the number of cases will only rise, he added. The high-risk group comprises children, the elderly, pregnant women, persons already having underlying ailments including hypertension and diabetes, heart and kidney diseases. 

The Health Department has tied up with the BMRCL to create awareness about H1N1. Awareness messages are being flashed on LED boards at metro stations.