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Spurt in swine flu cases in region; 44 deaths in 5 weeks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh,February 8
Health authorities of Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are in a spot following 44 swine flu deaths since January.

A 52-year-old woman from Solan in Himachal became the latest victim of the deadly HINI virus. She died at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) in Shimla last night.

Haryana has reported the highest number of swine flu-related deaths (23). As many as 94 cases have been witnessed — four fresh cases were reported from Hisar and one from Panipat on Friday. In 2012, Haryana reported six deaths and 18 confirmed cases.

Haryana is closely followed by Punjab with 88 cases and 20 deaths. Himachal has witnessed six cases and one death.

Of the 23 deaths in Haryana, four each have occurred in Sirsa and Karnal districts. While Panchkula and Kurukshetra have seen three deaths each, two deaths each have been reported from Ambala, Bhiwani and Jind. The remaining three deaths have taken place in Gurgaon, Hisar and Kaithal.

While there have been reports that a genetic change in the causative H1N1 virus has resulted in a higher death rate this year, the National Centre for Disease, New Delhi, said the swine flu virus has not shown any gene variance since 2009.

“The results show no noticeable gene mutation in the strands of the virus. It means we will continue with the existing line of treatment - Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate),” Surveillance Officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP), Dr Deepak Bhatia, said.

Director, Health, Punjab, Dr Ashok Nayyar claimed there was ample supply of the Tamiflu to combat HINI.

An alert has been sounded in Himachal Pradesh in the backdrop of the first swine flu death in the state last night. The victim had been admitted to the IGMC at 2 pm yesterday. “Two women from the same area in Kunihar had come to IGMC with HINI symptoms. One of them died at 8 pm,” said sources.

IGMC medical superintendent Dr Ramesh Chand said: “A fully equipped swine flu ward with ventilators has been readied for patients.”

— With inputs from Sanjeev Bariana(Chandigarh) and Pratibha Chauhan(Shimla)

The symptoms

  • In children: Fast breathing or trouble in breathing, bluish skin colour, not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or not interacting, being irritable
  • In adults: Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting and blood in sputum

Dos and Don’ts

  • If infected, limit your contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing or sneezing
  • Clean your hands with soap, water or an alcohol-based sanitiser every time you cough or sneeze





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