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With rising mercury, swine flu cases dip in Delhi, say experts

Data obtained from the National Centre for Disease Control too showed that the number of cases peaked during the week ending on February 17, when 609 were reported in a single week.

delhi Updated: Mar 28, 2019 02:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Delhi hospitals may have reported 14 deaths due to swine flu (H1N1) during the week ending on March 24, but the number of cases has actually gone down owing to rising temperatures, experts say.(Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Delhi hospitals may have reported 14 deaths due to swine flu (H1N1) during the week ending on March 24, but the number of cases has actually gone down owing to rising temperatures, experts say.(Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)
         

Delhi hospitals may have reported 14 deaths due to swine flu (H1N1) during the week ending on March 24, but the number of cases has actually gone down owing to rising temperatures, experts say.

“The peak was may be mid-February, when we were receiving a large number of cases. At that time, our H1N1 ward had around 30 patients in it. Now there are about 5. We are still getting cases, but the numbers have gone down considerably,” said Dr Desh Deepak from the department of respiratory medicine at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, which is one of the two hospitals in the city that sees the maximum number of H1N1 cases.

Data obtained from the National Centre for Disease Control too showed that the number of cases peaked during the week ending on February 17, when 609 were reported in a single week.

One such patient, Sumaira Sajipal, 30, said she had to be admitted to Indraprastha Apollo hospital for three days in the first week of February along with her 15-month-old daughter after both of them were diagnosed with H1N1.

“The illness started after my husband came back from a trip to Goa. He had cough and cold for a day and then high fever from the next day. A week later we contacted it. By then, he had recovered. But I was very weak and had to be admitted to the hospital,” she said.

Sajipal was given fluids and medicines to recoup. The doctors wanted to keep her under observation. However, she was discharged in three days with her daughter as they did not want the child to get cross-infection from others.

At the same time, her mother-in-law, who also lives with her, was diagnosed with H1N1 and had to be admitted to the hospital for five days.

“She lost her appetite because of the fever and got very weak,” she said.

At Lok Nayak hospital, the biggest general hospital run by Delhi government, doctors send around two or three samples for testing suspecting H1N1 every day. In comparison, 10 to 12 suspected samples were being sent for testing every day during mid-February.

At Safdarjung hospital, most cases now are coming from outside of Delhi.

“Now, we are getting cases, but most of them are from outside Delhi who have already been under treatment for a week or so. The number of patients from Delhi is probably 1/10th of what it was in February,” said Dr S Chakrabarti, head of the department of respiratory medicine at Safdarjung hospital.

The deaths reported are likely from February and are being reported now. “The deaths might have been reported now, but it might have happened during the peak. The deaths are declared only after a committee goes over all the hospital records and then declares it as an influenza death. This takes some time,” said an official from Delhi government’s health department.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 02:00 IST