HYDERABAD: With Telanganarecording the fifth highest number of swine flu (H1N1) cases among all states and a marked increase in number of cases reported over the last one month, health authorities are now preparing for tackling a swine flu outbreak.
Although Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have recorded higher numbers, the numbers are rapidly increasing over the last one month in the state too, said authorities.
As per official figures available from January to mid August, Telangana recorded 1,509 swine flu cases, while Maharashtra recorded 4,011 -the highest number of swine flu cases in the country, followed by Tamil Nadu with 2969 cases, Karnataka with 2892 cases and Gujarat with 1602 cases.
The tally in Telangana has now reached 1770 cases and 17 deaths in the same period.
While this is typically the `flu season’ when all types of flu cases are reported in big numbers, the large number of H1N1cases are a cause of worry due to the festive season.
“It is observed that the number of people coming with upper respiratory infection including influenza increases during marriage and festive season. People must avoid places wherever crowding in a small place happens be it functions or even pilgrimages,” said Dr Sunitha Narreddy , specialist infectious diseases, Apollo hospitals.
A massive drive to vaccinate all health care workers, including nursing staff, doctors and ward boys working in emergency and Intensive Care Unit (ICU)s at hospitals is underway. “While we are keeping our fingers crossed that the situation doesn’t worsen, we are also preparing to handle a swine flu outbreak. So far, the number of cases are increasing but there is no outbreak,” said Dr G Subbalaxmi, joint director epidemics.
The state authorities have already ordered a supply of testing kits and Tamiflu (oseltamivir) used to treat swine flu patients. “Taking personal precautions is important as the H1N1 virus attacks when the general immunity of the population drops and can even result into an epidemic,” added Dr Subbalaxmi.
Authorities should carry out mass awareness on social media and in health centres, so that people, who already have low immunity due to other health problems like diabetes, take extra precaution.
Source by indiatimes..