Bengaluru: With the city already battling dengue, the alarming figures of H1N1 or swine flu reported across the state paints a scary picture. According to the latest report from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, 3,188 positive cases of H1N1 and 15 deaths have been reported from across the state. More worrying is the fact that 916 of these cases have been reported from the BBMP jurisdiction alone, with two deaths.
Explaining reasons for the worrying numbers, Dr Prakash B.G., Deputy Director, Communicable and Non-Communicable Disease Department, said, "In Bengaluru, the population density is high and people are not just restricted to homes as they go out and work. To tackle the surge, people have to take personal precautions and take rest for a minimum of five days. Also, people should visit the doctor if the fever lasts for over two days with over 100 degrees body temperature.” But Karnataka has recorded low mortality rates compared to other states, he said.
The state health department has also conducted more than 33,000 contact surveys across the state on the basis of 11,000 samples collected. “More than 33,000 people who are in close contact with the H1N1 cases have already been administered drugs. Apart from this, we have also requested hospitals to vaccinate the health staff who are handling H1N1 cases as they are also in the risk group. Also, awareness programmes are being carried out in schools," he said.
“The symptoms are similar to other flu strains. Some of them include fever (in some cases), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, watery, red eyes, body aches, headache, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. These take one to three days to show up once a patient has contracted the virus. Pregnant women and patients with chronic disease such as asthma, emphysema, diabetes or heart conditions are at higher risk of contracting the flu," warned Dr Ambanna Gowda, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road.
Dr Sanjay Rao, Consultant, Internal medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal, summed it up, saying “Hand hygiene is crucial. Wash both your hands with soap as often as possible to avoid infection. Use hand sanitisers to prevent the spread of germs through your hands. Avoid close contact as much as possible with people with swine flu. Try to maintain a distance of at least 6-10 feet.”...