Different strain, long winter may be behind spurt in H1N1 cases

Different strain, long winter may be behind spurt in H1N1 cases

Different strain, long winter may be behind spurt in H1N1 cases

The drastic rise in H1N1 cases across the State and country could be due to a different strain of the virus for which a prolonged winter created a conducive environment, doctors here feel.

Speaking to Deccan Herald on Friday, Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, medical director, Manipal Hospitals, said that among the predictions for the spurt in cases is that there might have been a change in the strain of the H1N1 flu virus.

“The cold weather might have only made it worse,” he added.  Refering to the 2009 epidemic, Dr Ballal said immunity gained against the virus then might have been lost by now.

“Lakhs might have been affected by the virus in 2009. However, a few might have developed only mild illness. This would have helped develop immunity against the virus. However, the immunity might not be for life. This might be yet another reason,” Dr Ballal added.

Dr C Nagaraj, HoD, pulmonary medicine, Victoria Hospital, said: “It is of a severe form this time. Typically, there is high fever and soar throat when patients would have reached us.”

Few people were aware about the flu, while others reported late, he added.
Meanwhile, Nimhans, which is among the government hospitals here testing for the flu, still has no kits. The State government had placed an order for five testing kits (each can test 500 samples). It is only expected to reach the hospital by Tuesday.   The number of deaths reported due to H1N1 in the first two months of 2015 is about the same as the numbers reported in the year 2014.

On Friday, 33 deaths were reported while in 2014, 34 deaths were reported. The total number of positive cases has gone up to 533 across the State, of which 402 cases were reported from the City alone.

Two people, including a woman, lost their lives to H1N1 on Friday in Bidar and Raichur districts. Shivaraj Sangappa Vasamathe (56) died on Friday in Bidar, taking the toll to four in the district.

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