Policy & Issues

Reasons for surge in H1N1 cases yet to be identified

Between January 1 and February 12 this year, 6,298 cases of swine flu have been registered and 485 deaths reported.

Though the number is much higher than the number of total cases reported in 2014, health officials have not been able to identify the reasons for the surge in the cases as well as deaths during this short span.

While Union Health Ministry officials maintain that it is a “seasonal flu” and will abate with a rise in temperature, a detailed analysis of morbidity and mortality trends is yet to begin.

The Ministry has no explanation on what causes the virus to be more virulent in some years, and less virulent in others.

“There is no reason to panic, but yes, we should be alert and cautious. The people who died were those with suppressed immunity caused by existing health conditions or those who were administered treatment very late,” said Arun Panda, Additional Secretary in the Ministry.

As per data provided by the Union Health Ministry, the total number of cases reported between May 2009 and December 2009 was 27,236 and 981 deaths.

The numbers slipped to 20,604 cases in 2010, but the deaths that year rose to 1,763. In 2011, 603 cases and 75 deaths were registered.

In 2012 the cases again rose to 5,044 and 405 deaths. In 2013, 5,253 cases and 699 deaths were reported and in 2014, the cases were again down to 937 and 218 deaths.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 9:52:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/policy-and-issues/reasons-for-surge-in-h1n1-cases-yet-to-be-identified/article6893532.ece

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