BANGALORE: With 10 deaths and 120 cases of H1N1 (influenza A) reported from across the state this year, the Health Department has sounded a red alert. All through last year, only 122 cases were reported.
A circular has gone out to districts to carry out surveillance if more than five cases come from a single area. The department is also advising people to approach doctors if a fever persists for more than two days.
In BBMP limits alone, 55 cases have been reported since January 1. Doctors apprehend the virus may spread with the onset of the monsoons.
Health Director Geetha Nyamagouder told Express all District Health Officers (DHO) had been directed to send daily reports of suspected and confirmed cases of H1N1.
Dr Venkatesh, who monitors communicable diseases in Karnataka, said two centres — one at NIMHANS and another at Manipal Hospital— conduct diagnostic tests for free.
Dr Manoranjan Hegde, nodal officer for communicable diseases, BBMP, said the number of H1N1 cases in Bangalore had crossed 50, but no one had died.
“In the city, if one positive case is reported, we screen 50 houses in the vicinity,” he told Express. Manipal Hospital gets three cases a week, according to Dr Sudarshan Ballal, its director.
Udupi at Risk
In Udupi alone, four deaths and 15 cases of H1N1 have been recorded this year. The hospitals are keeping a close watch on patients who come in with colds, fevers and headaches.
“The patients have been briefed about H1N1 and told to report to a doctor if their ailments do not come down within 36 hours,” said Dr Ramachandra Bayari, District Health Officer, Udupi.
Five beds in the taluk hospital and 10 at the district hospital have been reserved H1N1 patients, he explained.
Even private hospitals have been roped in to treat H1N1 patients, and 7,000 adult doses and 500 paediatric doses of Tamiflu are in stock. “Four people, including a child, have died of influenza A,” Dr Bayari said.
Dr Puttaswamy, DHO, Mysore, said since January, eight cases were reported. “Three have died. We are quarantining families of the infected,” he said.
(With inputs from Supriya Krishnamurthy)