H1N1 cases up by over 2 times in a year in State

Changes in weather, increased awareness among possible causes

H1N1 cases up by over 2 times in a year in State

The number of H1N1 (swine flu) cases in the State has doubled compared to last year, according to statistics with the department of health and family welfare.

Just as there are reports that three people have died of swine flu at Hyderabad, Karnataka is not far behind. While 122 positive cases of H1N1 were reported in the State in 2013, the number is over two times with 298 positive cases being reported in 2014.

Even as the department claims that all preventive measures have been put in place, the total deaths due to H1N1 has gone up from 19 last year to 33 this time around.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits have recorded the highest number of cases at 108. The highest number of cases of confirmed death due to the virus is in Udupi. Recording 45 positive cases, the district has seen eight deaths due to H1N1. Mandya and Shivamogga have reported at least four deaths each. Davangere, Udupi, Mandya, Mysuru and Shivamogga have recorded high number of positive cases.  

Dr Manoranjan Hegde, incharge chief health officer, BBMP, said that in such cases, home quarantine is advised for patients. “This time around, we have seen an increase in the cases due to changes in weather,” he said.  

According to officials in the department of health and family welfare, precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure that there is no spurt in the cases. Training has also been given to microbiologists in private hospitals so that they are able to screen patients with H1N1.

The National Institute for Mental Heath and Neurosciences, Bengaluru and Manipal Hospital in Udupi have been recognised by the department as centres for testing for the flu.

Besides, screening would be done at Narayana Nethralaya and Command Hospital in Bengaluru. These tests are offered free of cost.

On being asked about the reason for the spurt in the number of cases, officials had another version to tell.

“This year, there may be higher figures as there is more awareness. Even doctors treating patients have ensured that they examine them for swine flu,” a senior official in the department said. “Increase in migrant population is also contributing to this significantly,” he added.

Year-wise statistics of the State according to the Department of Health and Family Welfare:
 Year                             2010    2011    2012    2013    2014

H1N1 positive cases    2552      108       878      122      297

H1N1 Deaths                 120        16        48        19        33
 

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