Swine flu has claimed seven lives this year and according to experts it has spread due to favourable climatic conditions.
According to additional director (rural heath) Dr Aditya Atreya seven people have died in the state including a pregnant woman. The deaths were one each from Ajmer, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Pali, Barmer, Kota and Baran districts.
“The weather is suitable for the H1N1 virus to strive as humidity has been between 28% and 36%. People who have died were elderly with weak immunity, suffering from various diseases and pregnant women,” said Dr Atreya. One person had tested positive in January this year and he died, while in February six people have tested positive and two died. In March, so far 25 have tested positive and have four died, he informed.
Swine flu (H1N1 influenza virus) is a respiratory disease caused by a strain of influenza virus that usually only infects pigs. The virus can be transmitted to humans.
Dr Atreya advised that children, elderly persons and pregnant women should take special care as they are vulnerable to the virus. “If they suffer from cold and cough for more than three days, then should immediately contact a physician, who will accordingly advise further tests,” he added.
In 2016, 2,122 samples were taken between January and December and 197 had tested positive for swine flu, out of which 43 people had died.
Health minister Kali Charan Saraf said that there is no need to panic, as swine flu medicines are available at all government institutions in sufficient quantity. “Isolation wards are there at medical colleges and district hospitals and even at community health centres. Testing for H1N1 is available at all government institutions and is done free of cost. Testing kits are also available at the government health facilities,” said Saraf.