Alarming spike in swine flu incidence this year

India

07 Feb 2019

Over 6,700 swine flu cases, 226 deaths trigger health alarm

There has been an alarming spike in swine flu (H1N1) cases in India this year, with 6,701 confirmed cases and 226 deaths recorded up until February 3.

During the corresponding period in 2018, only 798 cases and 68 deaths had been reported.

However, experts say that a spike in cases was likely to happen this year as swine flu outbreaks are cyclic.

Here's more.

Why the spike in cases was expected

"Flu outbreaks are cyclic and the numbers go down every alternate year as outbreaks lead to the community developing immunity against infection. Last year, there were fewer than 15,000 cases, so this year we are expecting some increase," said Union health secretary Preeti Sudan.

Details

The sharpest spike was in first week of February

The sharpest spike was in first week of February

The spike in swine flu cases was the sharpest in the week ending February 3 - a third of the total swine flu cases of 2019, or 2,101 cases were recorded in this week itself.

Notably, the most number of swine flu cases have been reported from north India, with Rajasthan being the worst hit.

Haryana and Delhi have also seen significant numbers of cases.

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Worst hit

The four states that have been badly hit

The situation in Rajasthan is quite dismal, and according to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) data, there have 2,263 confirmed cases and 85 deaths in the state up until February 3.

Delhi is the second-worst sufferer, with 1,011 cases. However, there have been no deaths in the capital yet.

Gujarat has seen 898 cases with 43 deaths, while Haryana has seen 490 cases and 2 deaths.

Low mortality incidence indicates good case management

"Cases in Delhi and Haryana have gone up, but there have been fewer deaths, which is an indication of good case management as 75% deaths occur in people at risk with co-morbidities, such as existing respiratory disorders, diabetes or high blood pressure," Sudan added.

Response

How authorities have responded

How authorities have responded

Given the situation, the health ministry has begun fortnightly video conferences with the states.

Meanwhile, the NCDC is working closely with the authorities in Rajasthan to contain the swine flu outbreak through a state-wide campaign to monitor all cases of fever, especially in rural areas where awareness about swine flu is low.

Swine flu

A brief introduction to swine flu

For those unaware, swine flu is caused by the H1N1 virus, which is one of the most prevalent and contagious viruses.

Swine flu has three categories of intensity - A, B, and C. While Category A and Category B swine flu can be easily treated at home, Category C generally needs immediate hospitalization.

Category C swine flu, if untreated, could lead to death.

Advice

Symptoms, vulnerability, and what to do if affected

Symptoms, vulnerability, and what to do if affected

Common symptoms of swine flu infection include fever, cough, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting, and a general feeling of uneasiness.

While anyone could contract the disease, children aged below five years, and adults aged above 65 years are particularly vulnerable.

In case you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is advisable to visit your doctor as soon as possible.

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Most asked questions

How does swine flu spread?

Can I get swine flu from a pig?

What are some severe symptoms for kids affected by swine flu?

What's the first thing to do if someone gets swine flu?

More questions

How does swine flu spread?

Asked 2019-02-07 15:39:50 by Surabhi Jain

Answered by NewsBytes

Swine flu spreads through mucus and saliva particles.

Can I get swine flu from a pig?

Asked 2019-02-07 15:39:50 by Tejas Jindal

Answered by NewsBytes

While it's true that swine flue mostly affects pigs, animal to human transmission does not happen. You can only contract swine flu from another infected human.

What are some severe symptoms for kids affected by swine flu?

Asked 2019-02-07 15:39:50 by Harini Sengupta

Answered by NewsBytes

Severe symptoms among young kids and infants could include dyspnea, apnea, tachypnea, cyanosis, irritability and dehydration.

What's the first thing to do if someone gets swine flu?

Asked 2019-02-07 15:39:50 by Shaurya Mistry

Answered by NewsBytes

It's important to keep the patient isolated, and seek immediate medical advice from doctors.

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