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Udupi tops State in detection of H1N1 positive cases, heath officials on alert


Harshini Brahmavar

Udupi, May 3: Udupi is being monitored closely by the health department since around 234 H1N1 cases have been detected here this year up to April 26. Though the people infected are recovering, it has become a matter of concern as lacs of tourists including foreigners visit the temple city. Also, the student population is high in the region as Udupi is a famed educational hub.

As per the health department officials, the spurt in H1N1 cases is due to the migrating population. In 2017, as many as 524 H1N1 cases were reported in Udupi and in 2018 around 117 cases were reported. However, the number crossing 200 in just the first four months of 2019, has put the health officials on their toes.

Meanwhile, the state has seen 39 deaths due to H1N1 (Influenza A) since January 2019 up to mid-April, pushing the government to intensify awareness programmes. As many as 1,434 positive cases of the viral infection have been reported in the state.

Sending out health alerts and advisories, Udupi Health Department officials are creating awareness that swine flu is airborne. It spreads from person to person, either by inhaling the virus or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus, then touching the mouth or nose. Infected droplets are expelled into the air through coughing or sneezing.

As it spreads easily, there are high chances that those with lower immunity get easily infected. However, there is nothing to panic as timely treatment can save lives.

A health department official points out that people in Udupi are educated and worried about their health. Hence, they visit hospitals whenever they notice symptoms and this is the reason for the high detection rate in the city.

The person infected with H1N1 experiences symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, chills, weakness and body aches. In Udupi, many visit KMC as one can get tests done and receive reports quickly. There are only four Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR)units in the State and KMC in Udupi is the one of them, says the surveillance unit official.

The viral attack can happen in a hospital, while travelling or in a crowded area. H1N1 is airborne and the virus thrives in thickly populated regions. So if the H1N1 patient coughs openly, it can easily spread to another person. Kids and senior citizens are more prone to the viral attack because of less immunity power. Usually, during the summer season, the number of positive cases increases.

It is said that many of the hospital nurses also get infected with the virus due to their close proximity with patients. However as they are aware of the symptoms, they are healed due to early intervention. Udupi District Surveillance unit official said that in 2017 as many as 6 deaths were reported. No deaths were reported in 2018 and 2019 report will be released by the DHO after the audit is complete. Medicines for H1N1 are in stock in every Primary as well as Community Health Centre.

The health department is also conducting awareness programmes and holding meetings in Gram Panchayats. Asha workers are creating awareness through their field work.

If the H1N1 infected person approaches the District Government Hospital in Ajjarkadu, he/she will get free treatment and diagnosis. The physician of the hospital will take care of the patient and provide all necessary treatment. In case if the government hospital sends the patient to a private hospital, then the treatment is free of cost.

People are advised to maintain cleanliness and personal hygiene. The H1N1 infected patients should stay away from public places and hence avoid the spread of the disease.

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Comment on this article

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangaluru

    Sat, May 4 2019

    Good news and the department need to take corrective steps in spreading this health disaster further.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Fri, May 3 2019

    We can only Pray ...

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Evans C. Sumitra, Udupi/New York, USA.

    Fri, May 3 2019

    This is not good news and people have to take precautions in case you have signs of H1N1. Report immediately to your doctor or go to a hospital for treatment. Since this is an air borne, it spreads quickly from person to person. It will be fatal if not treated on time. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

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