Swine flu surge in Kerala; 200 cases, 4 deaths in 1 week

In June, Kerala reported 345 confirmed cases, 5 deaths; experts advice against overcrowding in public places to stop spread of disease
Representative image
Representative image

KOCHI: With 200 confirmed cases and four deaths in the first week of July, Kerala is witnessing a sudden surge in the number of H1N1 cases reported daily. In June, the state reported 345 confirmed cases and five deaths. Experts said the spread can be prevented by adopting precautions and mortality avoided with proper treatment.

H1N1, also known as swine flu, is a seasonal disease caused by environmental and other factors, with fever and body pain being the common symptoms.

“Overcrowding and changes in weather conditions are conducive to the spread of the virus. Thus, the public must take precautions and avoid overcrowding to stop the spread of the disease,” said Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, chairman of the Indian Medical Association Research Cell, Kerala state.

People who are affected once can be reinfected with the virus, he pointed out.

Diagnosis and treatment at the right time is crucial, said Dr Althaf A, professor with the department of community medicine at the Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College. “Every disease is presented by fever. Thus, consultation is a must to test and diagnose the presence of a disease. Self-treatment must be avoided. If a person shows symptoms, he should consult a doctor. Also, medicines are available to treat the disease,” Dr Althaf said.

The disease can affect the elderly severely. “The vulnerable population should avoid getting infected with the virus. Family members should also ensure that the disease doesn’t affect the elderly and those with comorbidities,” emphasised Dr Rajeev, adding that vaccines are available for the disease.

Dr Althaf said the healthcare system should be equipped to tackle the situation.

“Globally, there is a rise in the number of dengue, leptospirosis, and H1N1 cases reported. Therefore, the health systems, including the private hospitals, should be prepared to deal with the situation as the number of cases rises. Also, we need to be equipped with diagnosis and treatment facilities to prevent the spread, as well as treat the affected people,” he said.

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