India reels under swine flu menace with maximum deaths recorded in Rajasthan and Gujarat

India is reeling under the swine flu menace with around 2,500 cases being reported all across the country in 2019, according to PTI.  In Rajasthan, over 1,911 have tested positive, with 75 dead (till 28 January).  Jaipur alone accounted for 41 cases, with two doctors of the city’s Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital also testing positive for swine flu. Gujarat recorded 20 swine flu deaths and 572 positive cases (till 27 January), as per a report in The Times of India. Forty percent of cases were reported from Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Rajkot.

As per a report in India Today, arrangements for medicine have been made and leaves of doctors and paramedical staff cancelled in Rajasthan. The government issued a high alert, as per the report. “Wherever a case of swine flu is found the whole area is screened,” Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma told ANI.  However, former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje reacted sharply, blaming the Congress government for not being alert.

India reels under swine flu menace with maximum deaths recorded in Rajasthan and Gujarat

Representational image. Reuters

New Delhi is also suffering, with 267 cases till 20 January, according to data released by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme. Elevene across eight districts of Maharashtra succumbed to the virus and 66 tested positive, according to a report in Asian Age.  Haryana reported 272 cases till 24 January.

In Himachal Pradesh, swine flu is only compounding the problems brought on by the cold wave of the past week. While former chief minister Virbhadra Singh was diagnosed with the swine flu, a two-year-old girl died of the illness on 25 January, taking the state’s toll to four, according to PTI.  In 2018, 14,992 cases of swine flu were reported across the country, with 1,103 succumbing to the disease.

Swine flu or the H1N1 flu was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in 2009. It is contagious and spreads when someone with the flu sneezes or coughs and the virus is contracted by another person. The symptoms include cough, fever, headache, body aches, fatigue and a sore throat. Antiviral drugs are used to treat swine flu, with the most commonly used medicine in India being Tamiflu.

The health ministry has started strict surveillance to ensure early detection. However, efforts are hampered by a lack of sufficient testing facilities which impacts the speed of diagnosis and treatment, as per an Indian Express report.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Jan 29, 2019 20:03:08 IST

Also See