District remains a swine flu hotspot with maximum deaths, cases in state : The Tribune India

District remains a swine flu hotspot with maximum deaths, cases in state

10 succumb to H1N1 influenza, 154 test positive, 701 suspected cases

District remains a swine flu hotspot with maximum deaths, cases in state

An isolation ward exclusively set up for swine flu patients at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman



Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, December 1

Ludhiana district remains the hotspot for H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu, with maximum deaths and cases in the state this season so far, the government has confirmed.

Health infra robust

To minimise public health risk, quality surveillance in both animal and human populations, thorough investigation of every human infection and risk-based pandemic planning are ensured. Besides, the health infrastructure has been made robust to deal with any eventuality. — Surabhi Malik, DC

With as many as 10 patients already succumbing to the infection caused by swine influenza virus (SIV) or swine-origin influenza virus, and 154 persons, including 58 local residents and 96 outsiders, testing positive, besides 701 suspected cases, comprising 271 local residents and 430 from outside, reported till Wednesday, Ludhiana has turned out to be the worst-hit district in the state, official figures have revealed.

Civil Surgeon Hitinder Kaur Sohal told The Tribune here on Wednesday that another fresh positive and one more suspected case of swine influenza virus subtype A (H1N1) were reported in the district on Wednesday and both cases were of local residents.

She said the district Health Department had made elaborate arrangements for the test, treatment and prevention of human infections that were primarily acquired through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments as these viruses have not acquired the ability of sustained transmission among humans. “We have set up exclusive isolation wards for swine flu patients and ensured adequate availability of drugs required for the treatment,” the Civil Surgeon said.

Dr Sohal said the condition of all positive cases of influenza virus disease ranging from mild upper respiratory tract infection (fever and cough), early sputum production and rapid progression to severe pneumonia, sepsis with shock and acute respiratory distress syndrome, was stable and recuperating at their own places while only two serious patients were still hospitalised in the district till this evening.

The H1N1 influenza virus, with the vast silent reservoir in aquatic birds, which was impossible to eradicate, has so far claimed 10 lives in the district. However, the Health Department had not yet confirmed the exact cause of these deaths and had classified them as suspected swine flu casualties.

In the state, as many as 41 swine flu deaths had been reported so far, of which 25 had been reviewed and confirmed as H1N1 casualties while the rest were still under review.

While Ludhiana topped the chart with the maximum of 10 deaths, Patiala had reported five casualties, four of which had been confirmed, Ropar also five with three confirmed, Moga three confirmed deaths, Malerkotla and Sangrur two each confirmed, Bathinda, Gurdaspur and Nawanshahr two each with one each confirmed, Amritsar, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Mansa, Pathankot and Mohali had logged one confirmed swine flu death each so far.

Of the total 193 confirmed H1N1 virus cases reported across the state till date, Ludhiana had reported the maximum of 58 cases, followed by Mohali 21, Sangrur 13, Patiala 12, Jalandhar 11, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur seven each, Bathinda, Malerkotla and Nawanshahr six each, Ferozepur and Mansa five each, Amritsar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Kapurthala four each, Barnala, Faridkot and Muktsar three each and Fazilka and Pathankot had logged two swine flu cases each so far.

Signs & symptoms

Swine influenza infections in humans may cause disease ranging from mild upper respiratory infection (fever and cough) to rapid progression to severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, shock and even death.

Diagnosis

Laboratory tests are required to diagnose human infection with zoonotic influenza.

Treatment

Evidence suggests that some antiviral drugs, notably neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir), can reduce the duration of viral replication and improve prospects of survival.

In suspected and confirmed cases, neuraminidase inhibitors should be prescribed as soon as possible (ideally, within 48 hours following symptom onset) to maximise therapeutic benefits. Treatment is recommended for a minimum of five days but can be extended till there is satisfactory clinical improvement.

Prevention

Besides antiviral treatment, the public health management includes personal protective measures such as regular hand washing with proper drying of the hands, good respiratory hygiene — covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, using tissues and disposing of them correctly, early self-isolation of those feeling unwell, feverish and having other symptoms of influenza and avoiding close contact with sick people.

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