As of Tuesday evening, 400 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Karnataka, according to an official from the state health department.
Speaking to TNM, district health officer of Bengaluru (Urban) Dr Sreenivasa stated that there have been 48 confirmed cases in Bengaluru Urban and 2 in Bengaluru Rural.
“Statewide we have confirmed 400 cases of swine flu at present,” stated another official from the state health department. “All the measures are in place and we are advising people to maintain good hygiene habits,” he added.
In Thirthahalli, where a few cases were reported earlier, senior medical officer Dr Kiran stated to TNM that the number of confirmed cases are now at 28.
Authorities have started statewide surveillance to ensure that people are treated and that the disease is contained soon.
“We had already distributed around 150 tablets of Tamiflu in the city, but now are urging people to take good hygiene measures,” stated Dr Sreenivasa.
An official from Bengaluru Rural Health Department stated that infected people traveling within the state could be playing a significant role in the spread of the flu so far. People are being urged to take all precautionary measures particularly to wash hands and to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing.
“Most people are being treated through a conservative line of treatment, mainly supportive measures are being given through IV fluids and medications to treat the fever and other symptoms. Earlier over 100 tablets of Tamiflu were distributed in the city,” explained the Bengaluru Rural health official.
Swine flu, also known as H1N1, is caused by the influenza A virus. Pigs were found to be the primary host, though it can be transmitted from an infected person to another individual through air droplets. A worldwide outbreak of the flu in 2009 led to health officials deeming the crisis a pandemic. Seasonally, it is seen each year during the rainfall periods in particular. A vaccine is available against the flu, which those in contact or at risk of exposure to an infected person (namely doctors and other medical personnel) have been advised to take the vaccine as a precaution.
Symptoms of swine flu include high fever, cough, cold, fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, and vomiting. People may also present with chills or extreme fatigue and muscle pain known as myalgia. A throat swab and culture will determine whether a person is indeed suffering from swine flu.