Swine Flu: India
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Symptoms and tests
Swine Flu: Symptoms and tests
2009- Aug 2017
(With inputs from Mumbai, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur , Bhopal, Chennai & Kolkata)
Maharashtra (488), Gujarat (343) Worst Affected, Reveals Govt Data
With states witnessing an unprecedented spurt in swine flu cases and nearly 1,100 people succumbing to the virus attack so far this year, the country seems to be in the grip of a major outbreak. With a toll of 488, Maharashtra remains the worst-affected, followed by Gujarat, with 343 deaths.
According to health ministry data, 22,186 cases of swine flu have been reported across India, with experts attributing the increased incidence to a “change in the virus's strain“.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and AIIMS in Delhi and Pune's National Institute of Virology have found that the H1N1 strain in circulation this year is different from that seen in previous years. “The virus this year is of the Michigan strain. Earlier, it was mostly the California strain,“ NCDC director Dr A C Dhariwal told TOI. He said, however, the role of the new strain is yet to be proved scientifically.
India saw its most crippling outbreak of the H1N1influenza, also called swine flu because initially the transmission occurred through infected pigs, in 2009 and 2010, when it claimed the lives of more than 2,700 people.
This year, Maharashtra has contributed to more than 45% of all H1N1 casualties and one-fourth of the confirmed cases since January .The state's H1N1 toll for all of 2016 was 25.
Most deaths were in the working age group of 25-50 years. “It simply emphasises the importance of self-isolation when suffering from an air-borne disease like influenza,“ said said Dr Satish Pawar, head of Maharashtra's directorate of health services.
Gujarat has recorded 4,741 cases this year, with a mortality rate of 7.23%. Nearly 152 deaths in the past fortnight alone have triggered panic even as the government declared “seasonal flu“ to be the cause. Casualties this year have shot up five times compared to 2016.
Uttar Pradesh is experiencing an even more dire H1N1 onslaught than 2009, according to state health department data. A total of 2,798 H1N1 cases have been reported in UP so far, against 871 in 2009.There have been 64 deaths, compared to 17 in 2009.
Punjab has reported 31 fatalities, and Himachal Pradesh 27. In Madhya Pradesh, there have been 23 deaths and over 550 cases this year. State health minister Sharad Jain said, “Only god can be blamed for H1N1 deaths.“
Rajasthan has seen 910 cases and 86 deaths so far.
In 2016, the number of swine flu cases in Telangana was 173; by August 28 this year, the number had already reached 1,704. Even the summer months saw a high number of cases in the state this year, which is unprecedented, experts say.
Kerala saw 74 of 1,308 cases registered till August 30 resulting in death; 2017 marks the third time since 2011when the state has reported over 1,000 cases.
Tamil Nadu has recorded around 3,000 H1N1 cases and 15 deaths since January .“Health centres reported these cases mostly in February and March,“ director of public health Dr K Kolandaisamy said. In Goa, more than 190 persons contracted swine flu, of which 19 died. Four of Assam's 200 patients have died. There have been five deaths in West Bengal.
Swine Flu: India, 2010-2019 Jan
January- August 2017: Number of deaths
The number of deaths caused by swine flu in the country has touched 1,094. Of them, 342 people have died due to the viral illness in the past three weeks. The latest data on swine flu, released by the Union health ministry, reveals that Maharashtra and Gujarat are worst affected by the viral influenza with 437 and 269 deaths, respectively . States like Rajasthan, Kerala and Delhi have also reported a high incidence of the disease.
The H1N1 strain in circulation this year is different from that in previous years, Dr A C Dhariwal, director of NCDC, told TOI. The virus in circulation this year is of the Michi gan strain. Earlier, it was mostly the California strain,“ Dhariwal said. He said the new strain could be a reason for the increased incidence and mortality , but it is yet to be proved scientifically .The AIIMS and Pune's National Institute of Virology said the same thing.
Jagdish Prasad, director general of health services (DGHS), said middle-aged persons and those with co-morbidities such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cancer are vulnerable to death due to swine flu. “They should take extra precautions,“ he added.
Data on swine flu cases and deaths released by the government shows September and October are peak months for transmission of the viral influenza. Dr Dhariwal said accurate reporting of notifiable diseases in necessary to alert the local population about necessary precautions and for the state authorities to prepare action-plan to tackle extra-rush of patients in hospitals. In Delhi, government data shows five people died of the viral illness and 1,719 people had been affected as on August 20. However, TOI checked with five top hospitals and found they had recorded more than 40 deaths.
2018- January 2019: number of cases, state-wise
1694 cases and 49 deaths have been reported in first 2 weeks of January; situation alarming in Rajasthan where 200 people died in 13 months
With 49 swine flu deaths and 1,694 cases reported in just one fortnight from January 1-13 as per data released by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), several States are on alert.
While the Rajasthan health department has reported that the number of cases in the State has crossed 1,000 with more than 200 people having died in the past 13 months, the Union Health Ministry has said that there is no cause for panic and that the situation is being closely monitored.
H1N1 influenza (or swine flu) is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine flu have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in people with direct exposure to pigs (e.g., children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry). However, there have been cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu.
“All State governments have been asked to create awareness about the spread, testing and prevention of swine flu and we have also asked them to ensure that there are enough beds and medicines to treat any cases that are being reported,” noted a senior Union Health Ministry official.
The Rajasthan health department confirmed that 1,036 people had tested positive between January 1 and 17, 2019, with nine fatalities reported in one week from January 13-17. “On January 17, 65 people tested positive for the flu,” the official added.
According to Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry’s IDSP, 14,992 people contracted swine flu in 2018., while 1,103 people died. In 2017, 38,811 people tested positive with 2,270 deaths.
“Children younger than five years old and adults who are 65 years and above, patients with chronic pulmonary condition (including asthma), , neurological, neuromuscular or metabolic disorders (including diabetes), obese adults and pregnant women are in the high risk group,” said Dr. D.S. Chaddha, Fortis Hospital.