Three deaths and 97 fresh cases of Influenza A – H1N1 (swine flu) were reported in 48 hours till Wednesday in the state, taking the total number of cases this year to 1,033. So far 13 people died of the virus this year.
According to the data provided by the state health department, Meerut is the worst affected district with 291 positive cases and 2 deaths this year. It is followed by Lucknow with 257 cases and one death, and Ghaziabad with 162 cases so far. The 10 worst affected districts include Agra, Noida, Hapur, Bareilly, Muzaffarnagar, Kanpur and Saharanpur.
Two deaths each were reported in Bareilly, Saharanpur and Baghpat, while on case each has been reported in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Rae Bareli, Rampur and Kushinagar.
RK Gupta, additional director (communicable diseases), said the spread of the virus did not cease as expected due to the recent rains that brought down the temperature. “Generally, the number of cases increase during winters. This year, we were expecting the temperature to go up by mid-February but that did not happen. There were hailstorms in the NCR region and then rains in the state. Low temperature is more suitable for the Influenza A – H1N1 virus, hence the increase in numbers now,” Gupta said.
On prevention and cure, he said the vaccination for the virus takes around a week to work but every year the characteristics and strength of the virus change. He added that precaution on personal level is the best way to avoid getting affected by the virus.
“The virus generally spreads from a patient to a healthy person through water droplets in the air. To prevent this, people need to be extra cautious. Isolate a person with any symptoms. Both the patient and the healthy person should keep their mouth covered. If you do not have a mask, use a piece of cloth to cover your mouth and regularly wash that cloth. Be extra cautious at public places and public transport vehicles,” he said.
HK Agarwal, Joint Director (vector-borne disease), had earlier said that the virus can affect any age and gender. He also said the government was taking various steps to check the increasing number of swine flue cases by spreading awareness among the people.