Gujarat, Maharashtra worst-affected in swine flu infection, deaths

INDIA-HEALTH-SWINE-FLU-H1N1 The recent rise of swine flu cases in Gujarat has increased the demand for face masks | AFP

With a spurt in swine flu cases, Gujarat, along with Maharashtra, is the worst-affected in terms of infections and deaths, a replicate of the 2015 epidemic.

The death toll in Gujarat has reached to 280 and the number of reported cases has increased to 3,220 this week.

On the basis of latest official figures, dated August 13, Maharashtra reported 409 deaths and 4,011 infections. The public health professionals are expecting that the numbers in both states are likely to rise.

According to reports in 2015, Maharashtra had 8,538 swine flu cases and 903 deaths, while Gujarat had 7,180 cases and 517 deaths.

The doctors, meanwhile, are advocating greater caution for the citizens including measures like avoiding crowded places as much as possible, wearing masks while using public transport facilities and getting vaccinated against the H1N1 virus.

Swine flu is caused by H1N1 influenza virus and is a respiratory disease. Being a contagious disease, H1N1 virus transmits from an infected person to a healthy one like any other influenza virus through the modes of inhalation, ingestion, or through human touch.

Swine flu patients are grouped in three categories.

Those who present with mild influenza symptoms fall in category A. They are advised to restrict themselves to their homes, and necessarily do not undergo testing for H1N1 virus.

Category B includes those who show all the signs of swine flu and test positive for H1N1, and therefore are at high-risk. Mildly ill children, women who are pregnant, and people older than 65 years, especially if they have other health diseases, also fall in high-risk category. They are treated with 'Oseltamivir' and are advised home confinement.

Those who have symptoms of category A and B and have to be hospitalised due to severe form of chest pain, breathlessness, and other symptoms fall in category C.

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