BHUBANESWAR: Even as day time temperature soars, seasonal influenza swine flu continues to infect people at regular intervals in the State. According to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Odisha has recorded 132 cases of swine flu and four deaths as on March 24.
Last year, only 33 cases were recorded though seven people died due to the disease. While the spurt in cases this season has been attributed to fluctuation in temperature and migration, health officials claimed that the number will come down as the season progresses.
Sources said most of the H1N1 influenza cases have been reported from Khurda, Puri and Cuttack districts. The epicentre Bhubaneswar has recorded more than 40 per cent of the positive cases.
“H1N1 influenza is just like any other seasonal influenza. People should not be panic as test and treatment are available in the hospitals. So the higher numbers could be because of people reporting for testing late,” said a health official.
He, however, claimed that the number of casualties is less because the hospitals are equipped to handle the cases. Those who are reporting on time, are getting cured. People with diabetes or other chronic diseases if hit by the influenza are getting affected, he added.
The State Government has opened special swine flu wards in most of its medical colleges and hospitals. There has been provisions of free medicine for swine flu patients and free masks for attendants.
Director of Public Health Dr Haraprasad Patnaik said all possible measures have been taken to prevent the spread of the disease and treat the patients. “Advisory has been issued to all district headquarters hospitals where special arrangements have been made for swine flu patients. Medicines have been stocked in the hospitals and doctors directed to treat such cases on priority basis,” he said.
The Health and Family Welfare department has also issued dos and don’ts for general public and intensified awareness drive to prevent the spread of influenza. The guidelines on risk categorisation, clinical management, home care, use of masks and vaccination have been issued.
After the attack of swine flu in 2009, Odisha had recorded its highest ever cases in 2017. While 54 people were killed, 414 persons tested positive recording an all-time high. As many as 76 positive cases were reported with 13 deaths due to swine flu in 2015. Only one case was detected in 2016.