Kashmir witnesses dip in swine flu case this year

The increasing awareness among people against the swine flu has led to a dip in the patients infected with the deadly infection this year, doctors said on Monday.

A doctor said the swine flu threat continues from September to April. The official figures at SKIMS here revealed that there were 15 deaths due to swine flu in 2014, 12 deaths in 2015, 25 deaths each in 2017 and 2018. There are figures about deaths available for 2016.

This year, as per the official records, there has been no death recorded due to swine flu in Kashmir.

A doctor at SKIMS said of 175 tests conducted for H1N1 at the institute this year only 10 patients were found positive for the flu.

He said the five cases which were admitted at the hospital have already been treated. In 2018, of 2404 tests conducted, 581 patients were found positive.

The administration at SKIMS has set up a separate “isolation ward” for patients infected with influenza. The flu, according to doctor, is “lethal” for patients with chronic ailments like cancer, kidney disease, diabetes and tuberculosis. It can also prove deadly for new born and children up to four year of age and expecting mothers.

The increased awareness about the disease and importance of vaccination is showing the results this year, said another doctor who has been monitoring swine flu patients at the hospital.

He said this season the hospital was receiving patients infected with influenza-B unlike previous seasons when one in two patients were detected to be infected with swine flu.

Dr Farooq Jan, the Public Relation Officer, SKIMS and nodal officer of the committee for infectious diseases said they have been creating awareness about the swine flu.

“People are taking caution and getting themselves vaccinated. Besides, the investigations have shown that H1N1 strain of the virus is weak for now,” Dr Jan said.

Besides, he said the committee has procured adequate medicines for the patients. “All these initiatives are showing the results,” said Dr Jan.

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