The city reported 60 new cases of influenza A H1N1 (swine flu) on Wednes-day, taking the total number of persons affected with the disease so far to 570. Eleven persons have already succumbed to the viral infection this year. Of them, 10 died in February alone.
The Delhi government’s health department, however, maintains that the virus strain is mild and is like any other seasonal influenza. There is no need to panic if one has tested positive for swine flu as the numbers may be rising but only about 30 per cent of the positive cases need hospitalisation.
“One has to be careful about the symptoms, especially if the person already has a history of chest infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, etc. Diabetics and those undergoing treatment for chronic diseases such as cancer must also see a doctor as soon as the symptoms appear,” said a senior health official in the Delhi government’s health department.
There are no differentiating symptoms of swine flu, and the person having swine flu also has sore throat, body ache, runny nose etc. However, the symptoms are likely to be more severe in case of swine flu than what one sees in seasonal influenza.
Health experts have urged people to maintain proper hygiene to avoid catching the infection. You’re your hands frequently, especially before or after eating; do not touch your mouth, nose and eyes frequently; cover nose and mouth with a disposable handkerchief while sneezing and avoid crowded areas and contact with people showing flu-like symptoms.
“Those who required hospitalisation were serious cases with previous history of upper respiratory tract infection. In most cases, the condition got aggravated as they did not pay heed to the symptoms and kept delaying seeing a doctor,” said the official.