Rise in Swine Flu Cases in January, Rajasthan Worst Affected

Around 1694 cases of influenza A H1N1 or swine flu with 49 deaths have been reported till 13th January 2019 and the figure is more than twice the 798 cases reported last year in the month of January. In 2018, there were 14999 confirmed cases while 1103 deaths due to swine flu in the country.

The increase in the number of swine flu cases generally happens in northern parts of India in the month of January and around February to March in peninsular part of the country.

An official from the National Centre for Disease Control on condition of anonymity told that “The flu cases are usually higher during the winter season with fall in temperature, so it isn’t strange to have more cases in January”. The official added that “In India, the predominant influenza strain this year is H1N1. There are many viruses in the atmosphere, sometimes conditions get conducive for a strain to flourish, which results in rising of numbers”.

As per records, Rajasthan is the worst affected state in the country with 789 cases and 31 deaths in the first 2 weeks of 2019. The other affected states include Gujarat, Delhi, and Haryana with a high number of cases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, the virus infects 5 to 15 percent of the world’s population every year, causing fever, tiredness, and cough. Though it is a self-limiting virus, hospitalization is required for high-risk populations, like the old, children and people with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer etc.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan government has assured people that all necessary steps will be taken to keep the situation under control. Health Minister Raghu Sharma said, "State government has made available the medicine for H1N1 throughout Rajasthan. In addition, leaves of doctors as well as paramedical staff have been cancelled. We are keeping an eye on the situation; wherever a case of swine flu is found the whole area is screened”.

The best way to stay away from swine flu is to get an annual flu vaccination. Apart from this, some other easy ways to avert swine flu includes regularly washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer. It is important to keep yourself clean and disinfected. Also do not touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. Immediately consult a doctor if you are having high fever with cold and body pain.

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