Amid a rise in seasonal diseases in the city, doctors here claim that the most worrying trend is the increase in H1N1 (swine flu) cases. The virus seems to have returned to haunt the Capital after a lull of a few years.
According to Central government figures, Delhi has recorded 1,507 cases (as on July 26, 2013) and 16 deaths. The disease had last created a panic-like situation in Delhi in 2009-10.
Talking about the preparations, Delhi Health Minister A. K. Walia said: “We are concerned about the situation and are putting in place some measures to ensure that the rise is controlled. All city hospitals have been asked to follow the H1N1 protocol, including ensuring isolation wards with dedicated staff for patients coming in with the flu. The State government is also looking at ensuring enough supply and availability of Tamiflu at all centres”.
Doctors in the city have confirmed that they have been seeing cases of swine flu since early this year.
Swine flu was at its most virulent form in the country when it spread in 2009. Till May 2010, 1,035 people had died of the disease in India and more than 10,000 were infected. “Symptoms of H1N1 Influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Many people with swine flu have had diarrhoea and vomiting. But these symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions. The accuracy of tests for detecting swine flu depends on the quality of the manufacturer’s test, the sample collection method, and how much virus a person is shedding at the time of testing,” said Delhi Medical Association member Anil Bansal.
The precautions for keeping swine flu at bay include washing of hands frequently to avoid infection, and staying away from crowded places and those who have tested positive for the virus.