Some coronavirus samples from State test positive for H1N1

While panic over the novel coronavirus infection is making news worldwide, there seems to be no respite from Influenza ‘A’ H1N1 in the State. As many as 128 persons have tested positive for the air-borne disease in Karnataka from January till date.

What is interesting is that some of the samples of suspected coronavirus (nCoV) cases that tested negative for the virus have tested positive for H1N1. Also, with symptoms of coronavirus similar to H1N1, several people are seeking medical advice and getting tested out of panic.

So far, 131 samples of symptomatic persons have been tested for coronavirus and of this 129 have tested negative. “Of the 129, some tested positive for H1N1 when they were investigated for other infections. As symptoms and precautions for both infections are similar, there is more awareness now,” B.G. Prakash, Joint Director (Communicable Diseases), told The Hindu.

Of the 1,204 samples tested for H1N1 from January this year, 128 have tested positive till February 11. In 2019, 96 deaths and 2,030 positive cases were reported.

This year too, the highest number of cases are from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) areas followed by Udupi. While 51 positive cases have been reported from BBMP areas, Udupi recorded 28 cases. In fact, BBMP has been recording the highest number of cases since the last two years. The number of H1N1 deaths that saw a decline from 2016 are on the rise again. While there were 15 deaths in 2017 and no deaths in 2016, the State witnessed 94 H1N1 deaths in 2015 and 3,565 positive cases. The number was significantly lower in 2014 with 303 positive cases and 34 deaths. Dr. Prakash said the numbers are high because more people are getting screened now.

High transmission

V. Ravi, senior professor and Head of virology in NIMHANS, said that although the novel coronavirus is related to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the only difference is that the efficiency of person to person transmission is high in the novel coronavirus. “That is why it spreads fast. But, soon there will be herd immunity like in H1N1 and this outbreak too will subside,” he said.

Stating that symptoms and precautions of H1N1 and the novel virus are similar, Dr. Ravi said the most important precaution is hand hygiene.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 6:03:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/some-coronavirus-samples-from-state-test-positive-for-h1n1/article30803813.ece

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