Swine flu outbreak 'kills 60' in India this month

New Delhi: A sudden outbreak of Swine-flu has claimed 60 lives across the country in the month of January this year.Officals in Pune said that a total of 661 people were diagnosed with the deadly
swine flu outbreak kills 60 in india this month -...
India TV News Desk January 29, 2015 8:41 IST

New Delhi: A sudden outbreak of Swine-flu has claimed 60 lives across the country in the month of January this year.

Officals in Pune said that a total of 661 people were diagnosed with the deadly virus which is higher compared to last year.

Telangana reported maximum cases (238) followed by Delhi (179), Gujarat (91), Rajasthan (67) and Maharashtra (42).

Rajasthan has been the worst hit by the disease where the death toll mounted to 29 after two more deaths on Wednesday of two men aged 24 and 38 in Jaipur and Ajmer while five were tested positive.

The leaves of the medical staff had been cancelled and the health department was put on a high alert after deaths reported from the areas nearby in three days.

Hyderabad recorded four more swine flu deaths on Wednesday as toll from the disease mounted to 24 in January.

Authorities said the H1N1 virus was now spreading to the interiors of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh but the reason of its revival is still uncertain.

Influenza research head of National Institue of Viraology (NIV) Mandeep Chadha says that The pandemic activity of the virus was noted in 2013 and also in the summer of 2012, but it was almost absent in 2014.

The behaviour pattern of influenza viruses such as swine flu is unpredictable. "We cannot predict how much worse the virus transmission could get in the next few days. In 2013, this influenza activity was observed throughout March, but together with influenza A H3N2,” he added.

They have studied only few isolates of the virus this season, but they do not differ much from the original strain when asked about the change observed in the genetic make-up of the virus. The National Centre for Disease Control in New Delhi has also observed the same. The virus is till very much susceptible to Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) tablets and there is no need to panic.

Chadha also pointed out death rate due to swine flu cannot be conclusively drawn based on the figures. “This is because we have stopped testing mild cases of infection. Only throat swabs of critically ill patients are being tested for confirmation.”

She underlined the health machinery should create awareness about universal respiratory hygiene and vaccinate high risk groups against the swine flu virus.

Experts say that people should avoid overcrowded places and must maintain respiratory hygiene to lead healthy life and avoid the disease.

In Maharashtra, over 3.51 lakh people were screened for the influenza in January. Of them, 843 people were administered Tamiflu tablets as a precautionary measure.

"There were only three swine flu cases and no deaths due to the virus in Maharashtra in January last year. But this year, the virus has already infected 42 people and claimed 14 lives in the last 26 days in the state. That accounts for a high mortality rate of 33%," a health official said.

 
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