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Gujarat sees spurt in swine flu deaths, UP asks schools to suspend morning assembly

Maharashtra reported the highest number of deaths, 381, and 3,750 cases, while Tamil Nadu reported 15 deaths and 2,956 cases.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2017 20:02 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
H1N1,Swine flu,AYUSH
Paramedical students wear protective masks to protect themselves from swine flu as they enter a hospital in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. (PTI)

spurt in the number of deaths and infections caused by Influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as swine flu in India, this year has forced state authorities to initiate measures and appeal to people not to panic.

This year, till August 6, H1N1 affected 16,565 people and caused 818 deaths, as against 1,786 infections and 265 deaths in the whole of last year.

Maharashtra reported the highest number of deaths, 381, and 3,750 cases, while Tamil Nadu reported 15 deaths and 2,956 cases.

As many as 31 swine flu deaths were reported between Sunday and Tuesday from different parts of Gujarat. While 13 people died on Sunday, 11 succumbed to the disease on Monday and the toll was seven on Tuesday. The deaths were mostly in the four big cities – Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot – where hospitals receive a majority of the cases. Since January, swine flu has claimed 210 lives in the state.

“While all government hospitals are well equipped to treat patients, a dedicated helpline number, 104, has been launched,” said health commissioner Jayanti Ravi.

The government announced 17,000 teams had launched a door-to-door scanning across the state by roping in accredited social health activists and Anganwadi workers, besides malarial surveillance squads.

Around 40,000 Anganwadi workers, more than 5,000 doctors and 3,000 AYUSH (department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) doctors are part of these teams. Gujarat has witnessed a total 1,883 H1N1 cases so far this season.

In Uttar Pradesh, 26 swine flu deaths and a total of 809 positive cases have been reported this season.

The state government directed all schools to suspend morning assembly. Though the health directorate order did not reach many schools, several principals suspended morning assembly after coming to know of it through newspapers, social media and news channels.

The health department urged schools to take preventive measures to check the spread of swine flu and screen students for symptoms of influenza, cold, cough, sneezing or red eyes.

“In case a student is found having these symptoms, send him/her back on a compulsory seven-day leave. Also, talk to his/her parents and ask them to keep him in isolation and get him examined. Talk about symptoms of influenza and swine flu with students in classrooms for half an hour. Screen them again,” states the health department directive.

The government has ordered a cleanliness mission across the state from August 17-25 to check the spread of Japanese encephalitis (JE) and swine flu.

It has also asked officials to ensure another extended five-day cleanliness push in 13 districts worst affected by JE/acute encephalitis syndrome.

In Odisha, 15 fresh cases of swine flu were reported, taking the total number of persons affected to 155 even as the death toll climbed to nine. A 67-year-old woman succumbed to the disease at a Bhubaneswar-based hospital on Monday.

The state government asked people not to panic, saying all preventive measures were being taken.

(With inputs from Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar)

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 20:02 IST