‘Fewer cases being reported this year compared to last year'

A day after the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) claimed that the Influenza A(H1N1) virus was under control, another suspected A(H1N1) death has been reported in the city on Tuesday, taking the toll to five since January. Eighteen more persons tested positive here.

The 25-year-old woman from Tumkur, whose name was withheld by the health officials, was being treated at a private hospital in the city. BBMP health officials said that an additional 18 positive cases were reported on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases to 76.

Downplaying

Chandrashekar Malagi, Joint Director of Communicable Diseases, State Department of Health and Family Welfare, told The Hindu until the reports clearly state that the death was due to A(H1N1) (also known as swine flu), the department could not categorically declare the nature of the death.

He advised people to take extra care what with sporadic cases being reported across the city.

“Awareness is the key to check the spread of A(H1N1), which is a viral disease. In crowded places, people must cover their nose and mouth with a handkerchief when someone sneezes. This will check the spread of the disease.”

Fewer cases this year

Mr. Malagi claimed the number of cases is likely to increase. “However, the number of cases being reported this year is far less compared with the previous years. In the previous years, nearly 130 positive cases used to be detected every day. This time around, an average of five to six cases are being reported.”

The BBMP has formed three rapid response teams. These teams will be headed by health officials, deputy health officials and superintendents of the respective referral hospitals.

“The teams have been asked to supervise the survey of the houses in areas where cases have been reported. If anybody is found to have flu-like symptoms, they will be advised home quarantine. If symptoms persist even after two days, they will be urged to undergo tests,” a health official said.

The BBMP has set up a round-the-clock helpline at the Dasappa Maternity Hospital. All calls on the helpline will be received by medical staff. The number is (080) 22975684.

Keywords: A(H1N1)BBMPA(H1N1) death

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