The menace of swine flu or H1N1 influenza continues to wreak havoc across Rajasthan with the death count registers a steady rise. As per the latest reports, the viral disease has claimed as many as 100 lives from across the state between January 1 and February 8, 2019. The latest deaths were reported from Kota, Jodhpur, Hanumangarh and Dausa. Besides, over 2,700 positive cases of H1N1 influenza reported from the state this winter. Rajasthan is the worst hit state across India, followed by Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi among others.
As per the data, released by the Union Health Ministry, swine flu has so far claimed over 250 lives in India with more than 30 deaths reported in the last 4 days. Punjab has reported 30 deaths and 301 cases while Madhya Pradesh reported 16 deaths and 81 cases. Maharashtra has recorded 13 deaths and 197 swine flu cases. Haryana and Telangana recorded 589 and 390 swine flu cases and both reported two deaths due to the disease. The national capital has so far recorded six deaths due to swine flu and 1,409 positive cases.
Amid the mounting cases of the H1N1 infections across India, the health ministry has asked the affected states to bolster their surveillance for early detection of the disease and also keep beds reserved in hospitals to deal with acute cases which require ventilator facility. States have also been advised to involve district collectors in enhancing public awareness and outbreak response, a health ministry statement said.
The guidelines for influenza vaccination and the details of manufacturers of vaccine provided by Drug Controller General of India have been shared with all states. Communication material for preventive measures has also been shared. Video conferences are being held regularly to monitor the situation.
Advisory for preparedness to seasonal influenza A (H1N1) was issued and the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and its state units have enhanced surveillance for Influenza like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI).
The Drug Controller General of India has been asked to coordinate with drug manufacturers and monitor the availability of Oseltamivir, the medicine recommended by WHO, in various states. The health ministry has recommended vaccination for healthcare workers and other priority groups. The guidelines for influenza vaccination have been shared with all states.
Swine flu, also known as H1N1 flu, is a human respiratory infection caused by a Swine Influenza Virus (SIV) that started in pigs. H1N1 virus spreads if an individual touch an infected or breathes droplets of coughs and sneezes that are in the air.
The symptoms of Swine flu include a cough, sore throat, and body ache among others. The symptoms are often similar to that of seasonal flu or viral fever and hence should not be ignored. The virus can prove to be fatal in case of diabetics, children and elderly people.
If one individual is sick or has any flu-like symptoms for a long time should consult a doctor on an immediate basis. People with swine flu symptoms are also advised not to go to school or work. The most effective way to prevent the disease is going for early medical advice and avoiding contact with people tested positive for H1N1 virus.