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344 H1N1 case reported in 2017

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    Posted: February 24 2017 at 1:12pm
Karnataka sees alarming rise in H1N1 cases: 344 reported in 2017

BENGALURU: The first 54 days of 2017 have seen thrice as many H1N1 (swine flu) cases reported across Karnataka, than the total number of cases registered throughout 2016. Data released by the health and family welfare department revealed that, while the state saw 110 H1N1 cases last year, the number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the first two months of 2017 stands at an alarming 344.
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"We are seeing more swine flu cases than we usually do at this time of the year," said Dr Sunil Karanth, chairman, ICU Care, Manipal Hospitals.
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In 2015, as many as 3,565 cases were reported in Karnataka, with 94 of them resulting in death. But, the tally was significantly lower in 2014 (303). Such massive fluctuations in the number of cases do not astonish the doctors. "In such diseases, the number of cases spikes every few years, as the virus mutates and returns in a more severe form," said Dr Karanth.
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Director of internal medicine at Fortis Hospitals Dr Sheela Chakravarthy said that most of the patients testing positive for H1N1 this year were senior citizens. "Nearly a third of all patients we are getting are testing positive for H1N1. Usually, it is the younger generation that is more severely affected by the virus," she said.
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Echoing Dr Karanth's observations about the varying impact of the virus, Dr Chakravarthy said, "The virus usually becomes more serious every two years."
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Although children are believed to be more vulnerable to the disease, the elderly constitute the majority of those who have tested positive for the virus this year. Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases Dr Shashidhar Buggi said that the disease was no longer new, and was affecting those with low immunity.

"In 2009, there was a swine flu epidemic as the virus had just been discovered. So, everyone was being affected. The infection is not new anymore. The cold weather too has contributed to the problem," he added.

Three H1N1-related deaths have already been registered at the institute this year - one in January and two in February. Moreover, the institute's records show that there were five H1N1-related deaths there in 2016, contradicting the claims of the government, which said that there were no swine flu deaths in the state last year.
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Dr Buggi emphasised the importance of detecting the disease in its early stages. "Doctors must ask patients reeling under fever for more than three days to undergo the H1N1 detection test," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/karnataka-sees-alarming-rise-in-h1n1-cases-344-reported-in-2017/articleshow/57319486.cms
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