Telangana has been battling swine flu, which claimed the lives of two patients who were undergoing treatment at Gandhi Hospital, taking the toll to ten since January.
The deceased have been identified as a 68-year-old man from Kushaiguda who died on Wednesday and a 22-year-old woman resident of Begumpet, who died on Saturday.
“In Gandhi Hospital, we have had 52 H1N1 positive cases so far this year, including 26 swine flu patients who were referred from private hospitals. Rise in H1N1 cases may be attributed to increased awareness levels among people, leading to more samples being tested,” Dr JV Reddy, superintendent of Gandhi Hospital told Times of India.
Senior doctors at the hospital explained to Deccan Chronicle that one of the reasons for the deaths is, patients arrive at the hospital with viral load and damaged lungs which leads to complications and organ failures.
With this, the death toll has gone up to 18 since August 2016.
According to the Health Department, over 4,300 samples have been tested for H1N1 virus since August 1 last year and of these, 413 samples were found positive.
People have been advised to approach the hospital at the first symptoms of the disease such as high fever, sneezing, cough and body ache.
It was reported that so far there are 12 people undergoing treatment at Gandhi Hospital, out of which six are children.
Meanwhile, the total number of cases in January has been reported to be 150 cases.
Talking to TOI, Dr Suneetha Narreddy, an Infectious Diseases Consultant in Apollo Hospitals, cited different reasons for the rise in cases.
“Studies in the temperate countries have shown that influenza virus survival and transmission are better when the temperature and humidity are low. Some of the reasons include rebreathing of air inside a room, as people do not go out much during the winter. Decrease in Vitamin D and melatonin due to lack of sun exposure may also be a contributory factor,” she told TOI.