Influenza in city’s air, docs blame weather’

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Influenza in city’s air, docs blame weather’

Friday, 25 January 2019 | SUGANDHA | NEW DELHI

Delhi saw a sudden outbreak of H1N1 seasonal influenza commonly known as Swine Flu in the past few weeks. Some doctors in the city, on Thursday, blamed it on the bad weather which seemed capable enough of holding and thriving the viruses.

 “Viruses can thrive when there is sudden change in weather which is more capable of holding them. More cases are being reported now,” said Dr Atul Kakar, Vice-Chairman, Department of Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The hospital is presently seeing patients coming with all types of influenza, including Swine Flu, he said.

According to Senior Consultant, Dr Vikas Maurya, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, not many cases were reported in December. “We have seen weather changing suddenly in January. Pollution was also there. When air is dense, viruses can contain in the lower atmospheres to which people come in contact easily. We didn’t see many patients in December,” he said.

Their hospital is seeing around 15 to 20 patients coming with symptoms all types of influenza with some of them getting admitted on regular basis, however, the cases have come down in the last two days, Dr Maurya added.

“The severity of influenza is seen in the elderly and people who already have chronic illness. In the hospital, these two groups are reporting severe influenza, others are coming with normal symptoms,” he said.

The data recently released by Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, till January 13 this year, Delhi recorded 168 cases of Swine Flu which is also the third highest number of cases in the entire country. Five deaths have also been reported. Last year, a total of 205 cases and two deaths from Swine Flu were reported, the data revealed.

Amid this, doctors have suggested some basic precautions like avoid physical contact with the infected as it is highly contagious and taking proper meals to boost immunity.

The Health Department of Delhi Government has also issued a health advisory including the various precautions.

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