After having shown a slight decline in numbers, swine flu seems to have made a return with the number of cases climbing up in the Capital over the past one week. The number of children testing positive for the flu too have registered an increase.

“There is nothing to be alarmed about as the season is conducive for respiratory diseases and we had predicted an increase in the number of swine flu cases. We have also predicted that there would be small spurts and until at least 60 per cent of the population doesn’t develop immunity we will keep seeing cases of the swine flu in the country,” said Indian Council of Medical Research Director-General Dr. V.M. Katoch.

He reiterated that a watch was being kept on the growth pattern and spread of the flu and that so far nothing had been spotted which should be a cause for concern. “We are advising people to be cautious for at least another year and ensure that all cases get treated early to prevent any complications related to swine flu,” said Dr. Katoch.

“The flu virus has so far seen no change that can be called significant and the reports about mutations coming in from other parts of the world are being closely followed,” he noted. Another senior health official said: “We are looking at the virus across the country and found nothing to worry so far. Also, the spread that we are registering now is nothing unprecedented.” The State Health Department has taken several measures to ensure that people are aware about the symptoms of the flu and the precautions to be taken. “Private as well as government hospitals have been pressed into service to ensure that no one is denied treatment. Private laboratories have also been asked to test for swine flu to shorten the time taken for testing to make sure that we are able to test and treat as many people as possible in the shortest span of time. We are also conducting aggressive awareness campaign to make sure that people are able to recognise the symptoms,” said a senior health official.