Tamil Nadu

Fewer cases of H1N1 influenza in Tamil Nadu this year

A view of a fever ward at the government hospital in Coimbatore

A view of a fever ward at the government hospital in Coimbatore   | Photo Credit: J. Manoharan

As of November 16 this year, the State has recorded 709 cases and 3 deaths, compared to 2,812 cases and 43 deaths last year


Compared to the last two years, Tamil Nadu has recorded fewer cases of H1N1 influenza so far this year.

According to data from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Tamil Nadu has recorded 709 cases of H1N1 influenza and three deaths until November 16. This is low, when compared to previous years. In 2017, the State accounted for 3,315 cases and 17 deaths due to H1N1 influenza, while there were 2,812 cases and 43 deaths last year.

In January this year, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had directed states to be on alert after cases of H1N1 influenza were reported in a number of northern States.

2019 (as on Nov. 16)7093

K. Kolandaswamy, director of public health and preventive medicine, said the number of H1N1 cases in the State was very low this year. “H1N1 influenza cases mostly occur in cities and towns where there are a number of hospitals and thickly-populated areas. This year, influenza cases were reported in places such as Chennai and Coimbatore. But better hospital infection control practices as well as promoting hand-washing and surface cleaning has contributed to a reduction in the spread of the infection,” he said.

At government hospitals, there are separate clinics and wards to treat patients with fever, he said, adding that the segregation of fever cases have also helped.

“Over the years, we have also established a system to treat contacts of patients diagnosed with H1N1 influenza. If one person in a family is diagnosed, his/her contacts are immediately screened and treated. So, this year, we do not have cases in which a number of persons of the same family were affected,” he said.

A senior doctor of Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital said there were only one or two suspected cases of H1N1 influenza at the hospital every month. “This decline in the number of cases may be due to environmental factors. The complications arising due to influenza and deaths have also come down this year,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:41:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fewer-cases-of-h1n1-influenza-in-tamil-nadu-this-year/article30094755.ece

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