Swine flu, the virus that caused panic in India in
2009, is back this season. In fact, in 2010, the WHO had warned of sporadic
outbreaks during changing seasons for a couple of years before the virus
finally dies out. The current outbreak is not expected to be as severe as it
was the first time and people are advised not to panic.
suggest that at least 330 people in India have been confirmed to be suffering
from the flu this year and 24 people have succumbed to the flu. Most of the deaths have
been reported from Maharashtra and majority of the cases had underlying health
Tamil Nadu recently reported its first death due to
swine flu this year in Coimbatore. The unfortunate victim was a 70-plus year
old farmer from Kangeyam in Tirupur district. He was initially admitted to a
hospital with a respiratory tract infection. Since his condition deteriorated,
he was tested for H1N1, the results of which turned out to be positive. His
relatives suggest that he probably contacted the infection when he met visitors
from Bangalore for his daughter's marriage.
In addition, some other people have also tested
positive for the infection. In fact, two children in Chennai have tested
positive for the virus, but could not be traced due to wrong addresses
furnished at the health center.
Authorities say that there is enough Tamiflu to deal
with the infection. With more and more people likely to panic with the mildest
bout of cold and cough, the state Health Department has alerted all government
hospitals to be prepared for mass screening of patients.