BANGALORE: Symptoms of fever, cold, cough and body-ache could be an indication of H1N1 or influenza A, which has surged of late and killed 14 people this year in the state.
Health Department officials have warned people not to ignore such symptoms and consult the doctor within 36 hours of onset of symptoms.
So far, 164 cases of H1N1, also known as the swine flu, have been reported in the state this year. In 2013, the state had recorded only 122 cases. The number of cases in Bangalore, Mysore, Udupi and Shimoga have doubled. Six people in Udupi and three in Mysore have died of the disease.
Speaking to Express, Sumitra Devi, Nodal Officer for Communicable Diseases, said the department has been informing and educating people in areas where the number of cases have surged by roping in ASHA and link workers. “Most of the people who succumbed came to the hospital in the last stage. If neglected, the patient can develop respiratory problems and pneumonia, eventually leading to death,” she said.
Dr Ramachandra Bayari, District Health Officer, Udupi, where the highest number of deaths have been reported and 35 cases detected, said physicians and medical colleges have been told to explain to patients that they should return for a swab test if the symptoms do not subside in 36 hours.
He said the hospital staff are also prone to infection. “Three staff nurses, one D group worker and one physician have been affected at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal,” said Dr Bayari. He also said isolation beds at referral and district hospitals have been arranged and Tamiflu tablets have been stocked.
City Registered Highest Cases
With 64 cases so far, the city tops the list for H1N1 infection. Dr Manoranjan Hegde, Nodal Officer for Communicable Diseases, BBMP, said health inspectors of all the wards have been asked to monitor the disease at clinics, nursing homes and private hospitals, and send a daily report.
“The cases so far are sporadic and not epidemic,” said Dr Hegde. If one positive case is reported, the officials will have to screen 50 houses in the vicinity, he added.
Udupi, Mysore, Shimoga, Ramanagaram, Mandya Dakshina Kannada and Davangere districts are under the scanner.