Delhi reported 3 deaths this week, 132 persons died from January 1 to February 6

Even as H1N1 cases are on the rise, the Union Health Ministry has said the situation is well under control and is being monitored. Delhi has reported three deaths this past week, while 132 deaths took place from January 1 to February 6, besides over 700 cases of confirmed influenza across the country.

Rajasthan reported 65 deaths and over 300 confirmed cases of influenza during this period, while 23 deaths were reported from Haryana, 17 from Gujarat and 16 from Punjab. Some deaths have also been reported from Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the Ministry said localised outbreaks of varying magnitude with a significant level of H1N1 transmission were expected. Small pockets of population which remained unexposed to the pandemic and susceptible would be affected.

“A large number of these cases would be presenting with mild influenza-like illness and as such requires no testing or anti-viral drug treatment. However, one should get oneself examined at the nearest hospital to detect moderate illness and associated risk factors/diseases that require hospitalisation,” the Ministry said.

The antiviral drug, Oseltamivir, is available free of cost through the State public health system. A central stockpile of about 5.5 million tablets is also maintained.

As the virus is circulating within the country, there is no need to impose any travel restriction or screening at any inter-State point of entry or railway stations, says the statement.

The World Health Organisation, while declaring the pandemic to be over in August 2010, said the H1N1 pandemic virus would take on the behaviour of seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come.

Hence, in the post-pandemic period, India experienced outbreaks during August-October 2010, May-July 2011, March and October 2012 periods and now in January-February.