H1N1 killing more young adults


The union health ministry officials, however, did not reveal the exact proportion of young deaths among the total. But the ministry is not contemplating changes in its guidelines at the moment as the “sample size is too small.”

The World Health Organisation endorsed the government stand. “It is true that most of the deaths have happened in the young age group between 20 and 50. But policy decisions cannot be taken based on such a small sample,” said WHO India representative Salim Habayeb. The death investigation has revealed that almost all victims came to the government facility after five days of the infection when their conditions became serious, said R K Srivastava, director general of health services.

“Most of the victims reported on the fifth day or afterwards when body temperature was not the factor to determine their conditions. Instead they had breathlessness,” he said.
Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath is the foremost emergency warning signs of critical H1N1 infection that need urgent medical attention.

With 2.29 per cent case fatality ratio, deaths in India seems to be happening faster than the west where the ratio is below one per cent. The officials, however, attributed it to the different methods used in the calculation. With 123 new cases on Thursday, the total number of H1N1 cases stands at 3396 with 78 deaths. Three new deaths have been reported on Thursday. To take care of patient loads, state governments have given sanctions to 16 private diagnostic laboratories for conducting H1N1 tests. Surprisingly none of them are in Maharashtra – the worst affected state.

Karnataka allowed Kasturba Medical and Manipal Narayan Hridayala for conducting the H1N1 diagnosis.

DH News Service

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