Delhi has witnessed an alarming rise in the number of swine flu cases this year, with 532 people diagnosed with the disease so far at various hospitals. This is far more than the 205 cases which were reported during the entire 2018.
The report has been released by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
A total of 11 suspected deaths have been reported from the hospitals in Delhi — with eight patients from the capital and three from other states. The city has witnessed 173 fresh cases of influenza in the last six days.
“There are 15 confirmed cases of swine flu in our hospital, of which eight patients have died. All eight were from Delhi,” said Smriti Tiwari, spokesperson, RML hospital — one of the hospitals designated by the Centre for treating the disease.
Safdarjung Hospital has confirmed 18 cases and three deaths. The standard treatment for H1N1 is Oseltamivir, which should be taken only on prescription.
There are three categories of the virus — A, B and C. While the first two are considered stable, category C is dangerous and requires ventilator support immediately.
At AIIMS, medical superintendent Dr D K Sharma said: “Around 9-10 patients were admitted in the hospital. All of them are stable and a few have been discharged.”
The disease is also keeping schools on their toes. After a child tested positive for swine flu, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya got the school fumigated and asked students from nursery to Class IV to stay at home till February 4. Other schools have sent out advisories to parents.
According to a notice sent by the medical in-charge of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya to parents, the step has been taken as a precautionary measure after parents of a student in the junior section informed the school that the child had tested positive for the virus.
In other schools, too, preventive measures are being undertaken.
“We are going to send out an advisory to parents tomorrow to make them conscious about the signs, symptoms and the increase in cases. We’re also asking them to not send their children to school if they have any sign of infection,
especially because parents are very reluctant about children missing classes,” said Suman Kumar, director of Bluebells School International.
At Springdales School, Pusa Road, special attention is being paid to hygiene. “We have asked students to carry a hand sanitiser with them, and teachers are also keeping it with them in classrooms. Children are being encouraged to use it, for instance before eating. We are also observing them carefully. If any child has a running nose or a headache, we are asking them to go back home and advising parents to take them to a paediatrician,” said principal Ameeta Wattal.
Officials in other schools such as Mother’s International School and DPS Mathura Road said routine check-ups of unwell children are continuing as usual, and that they have not felt the need to take special preventive measures so far.