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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Swine Flu deaths in Rajasthan

A ProMED-mail post
Archive Number: 20130204.1528727

Date: Sun 3 Feb 2013

Source: The Times of India, Times News Network (TNN) [edited]

Almost one out of 5 people testing positive for swine flu [presumably influenza A /(H1N1)pdm09] died in the past 46 days in the state [Rajasthan]. Ever since influenza has reared its head again, the Health Department has been concerned about the high death rate. Figures show that from 13 Dec 2012 to 28 Jan 2013, nearly 378 people were tested positive for swine flu, 70 of whom had died. The death rate is as high as 18.51 per cent, which is much higher than the death rate in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Most of the swine flu cases reported to date were detected in 2009-10 and 2010-11, when swine flu struck in the state first, but the death rate in 2009-10 was just 5.87 per cent and in 2010-11, it was 7.58 per cent. So far, nearly 452 people have been tested positive for swine flu since 2009. Among them, as many as 427 have died. The death rate due to swine flu since 2009 till date remained at 7.83 per cent.
In comparison with the previous year [2012], the swine flu cases reported this year are much higher, which keeps the health department on its toes to find more information about the trait [genetic properties] of the virus. In 2011-12, only 100 cases were reported and 20 of them died. But from 1 Apr 2012 till date, already 595 swine flu cases have been reported. Deaths due to swine flu have increased 5-fold this financial [April to March?] year in comparison with last year.
In 2010-11, as many as 105 swine flu deaths were reported and 1384 people tested positive. During the current financial year [April to March?], 104 deaths have already been reported while 595 people have tested positive.
The state government has swung into action to prevent the spread of swine flu and also to reduce the death rate due to influenza in the state. Recently, chief secretary CK Mathew directed the divisional commissioners and the district collectors to review swine flu status twice a week in their respective areas. Mathew said there is no need to panic but it is necessary to go for a swine flu test and if tested positive, treatment is available at government hospitals. He also directed health department officials to put efforts into preventing the spread of swine flu. The chief secretary also directed the officials concerned to take the necessary measures for treatment of swine flu patients in the government hospitals.
Comment: While the number of cases are not alarming as of now, I would certainly recommend that all tourists traveling to Rajasthan update themselves with Flu vaccine either before travel to India, or at our TravelSafe Clinic branch in New Delhi as soon as they land in India.

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