HYDERABAD: Cases of swine flu or H1N1 have been detected in Telangana after a gap of three years, and are slowly rising, according to officials. The cases usually spread during monsoon, and hospitals have recorded a rise in cases over the past two weeks.
Most samples to be tested for the virus in the city have been sent to the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) at Narayanguda. IPM director Dr C. Sivaleela said no samples had been sent in 2021 and 2020, and now samples were being received, and there had also been a rise in the number of samples of late.
The director said the precautions that people were taking during the past two years due to Covid probably curbed the spread of H1N1 too. She said at present, the institute was getting samples only from Hyderabad, but usually when the cases increased, they received samples from across the state. She said the flu vaccine worked against H1N1, but it had to be taken every year.
Dr Tapaswi Krishna, pulmonologist at Gleneagles Global Hospital said the hospital had started receiving H1N1 cases for 15 days and they were on the rise. Many patients showed symptoms typical of H1N1 — headache, cough, cold, stomach pain and diarrhoea — and test negative for Covid and bacterial pneumonia. In such cases, doctors suspected them to have swine flu, the doctor said.
Samples of only those patients who are admitted in hospital are sent to IPM for testing, and in some cases of OPD patients are never confirmed. Dr Tapaswi said an average of five suspected cases of H1N1 was being seen at the hospital every day, of which three could be actual H1N1 cases. “If we test more, we will find more cases, as it is monsoon and schools are open, almost everybody has a cough or a cold. Until now, we haven’t had any fatalities, but some cases have needed admission as they had very high fever,” she added.
On August 13, a case of swine flu from RIMS in Adilabad district was confirmed at the IPM. With many people suffering from viral fevers in the district, doctors believe the number of H1N1 cases could be quite high in the district....