Last week, the state government stepped up precautions after 70 fresh H1N1 cases were reported in five days

Swine flu plays Bathukamma spoiler in TelanganaFile photo: The swine flu ward at Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital
news Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 08:12

The week-long floral state festival of Bathukamma in Hyderabad is seemingly worsening the spread of the H1N1 virus, responsible for swine flu, as it facilitates the mass gathering of people.

The Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) reportedly recorded 40 samples that were positive for swine flu in the last 48 hours, out of which 29 are from Hyderabad.

According to a report in the Times of India, Tuesday alone recorded 25 cases, which included 20 from the state's capital while Wednesday saw another 15 fresh cases, which included nine from the city. The districts of Nalgonda, Warangal, Medak and Adilabad, have collectively reported 11 cases in the last two days.

"There is every possibility of the H1N1 virus spreading fast during Bathukamma as this festival involves women making hand-to-hand contact with other participants, thereby increasing the chance of viral transmission," Dr Vyakaranam Nageshwar, consultant pulmonologist, SVS Neuro Sciences, Kachiguda told the newspaper.

The government is trying to keep the mortality rates to a minimum as the virus spreads more quickly and easily during winter.

It has also asked those with flu-like symptoms to check with a doctor immediately and stay away from crowded public places.

Last week, the state government stepped up precautions after 70 fresh H1N1 cases have been reported in five days.

Telangana was one of the worst affected states last year, with over 220 swine flu positive cases and ten deaths in the first 20 days of 2015.

Swine flu spreads when you touch an infected surface or breathe cough and sneeze droplets in the air. The symptoms are the same as the seasonal flu -- cough, sore throat, and body aches. Young children, pregnant women, and older adults are more likely to develop complications.

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