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Swine flu affecting young more: study

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2009 20:13 IST
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More young people are falling prey to swine flu in India and the maximum number of deaths reported due to the disease have been due to late reporting to health facilities and delay in initiation of Tamiflu, a study says.

The study, conducted by the Health Ministry on the first 82 deaths due to swine flu in the country, states the average interval between the onsets of illness and reporting to health facility was 5.2 days and the time interval between the onset of illness and initiation of Oseltamivir was 5.7 days.

It was also found in the study, which was presented to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday, that more than 50 per cent of those affected by the virus were in the age group of 15-45 years.

Out of the total 82 cases studied, 5 were in 0-5 age group, 3 were between 6-15, 13 were between 16-25 years, 18 were in 26-35 years, 24 in the 36-45 age group, 18 in 46-65 age group and one who was above 65.

The virus affected both the sexes almost equally with 52 per cent men and 48 per cent women contracting it.

The average time interval between hospitalisation and death due to the disease was 3.3 days and a total of three pregnant women have died due to the disease.

During the study period, Maharashtra had reported the maximum number of 44 deaths due to the disease, which is more than 50 per cent of the total cases studied.

Another important analysis made by the study is that a large number of people who died of swine flu in the country were those who had some pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, blood disease and chronic lung disease. Seventeen dead people had diabetes, 11 had chronic heart disease, eight had chronic lung disease, four had anaemia and two were suffering from AIDS.

According to NICD Director Shivlal, the most common symptom found in the patients was cough with 85 per cent suffering from it. The next most common symptom was breathlessness.

Around 56 per cent suffered from high-grade fever, 32 per cent body ache and headache and 21 per cent from sore throat. While 76.2 per cent deaths were reported in urban areas, 23.8 per cent deaths took place in rural areas.