H1N1: Udupi has highest cases, most deaths in S’mogga

H1N1: Udupi has highest cases, most deaths in S’mogga

The virulence of the virus has been high usually between September and November. But this time, the peak was from January to May.

The number of H1N1 deaths has exceeded the previous year’s figure, even as the health department officials claim that the number of cases has been going down. Last year, 87 deaths were reported in the state and this year, the number has already gone up to 88.

The state, in 2019, reported 1,792 cases so far, with Udupi accounting for 352 cases and nine deaths according to reports by the department of health and family welfare.

Officials attribute the number of deaths to the severity of the flu this year and also its prevalence all along the year. Although Shivamogga has reported just 158 cases, 13 deaths have been reported, due to H1N1. 

The reason for the mortalities is also a change in the virus, officials from the department of health and family welfare said. Dr Prakash, programme officer, National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, said last year’s numbers were carried forward as the season lasted longer.

“A similar trend was seen even in other states. The virulence is more. Usually, the season is between September and November. But this time, we saw its peak even from January to May. Dr Prakash said that the virus has survived seasons.

Udupi has the maximum number of cases. There have been 321 positive cases and nine deaths in the district so far.

Why Udupi?

“Those residing in neighbouring districts also come to Udupi for treatment as Kasturba Medical College, Manipal has the facilities. Cross infection at hospitals is also one of the reasons for the spread of H1N1,” he said.

Prakash said people from Maharashtra and other states come to Udupi for work and hence, the spread is high. Bengaluru has reported 244 cases of H1N1 and none died. Officials in the department saiod most of these cases were reported from KR Puram and Whitefield.

Dr Vasudeva Upadhya, district health officer, Udupi, attributed the numbers to susceptibility at a hospital. “Patients who tend to stay for long at hospitals have a chance to acquire the flu. It also depends on the patient’s immunity,” he added. Upadhya said the number of cases, however, had begun to come down gradually this month.