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Swine Flu (cont.)

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What is the latest news about swine flu?

Feb. 26, 2015: Swine flu in India continues to cause problems; over 15,000 individuals have tested positive for the virus and over 900 people have died. Officials in three cities (Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, and Rajkot) yesterday announced restrictions on public gatherings in an attempt to contain the swine flu. The order prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people together in public areas. The restrictions exempt funerals and private parties. Currently, many religious and cultural events have been canceled because of this order. Health officials encourage children going to private schools and any college-age individuals to get vaccinated against the virus as these individuals often encounter large numbers of people in group settings. However, doctors in these cities contend that there is an "alarming shortage" of the vaccine. Health officials still believe that when warmer temperatures occur in India, it is likely this ban on public gatherings will be lifted and the numbers of infected people will subside.

Feb. 16, 2015: Health authorities in India have reported that about 6,289 individuals have been diagnosed with swine flu (H1N1), with 485 deaths so far in 2015. In comparison, in 2014, there were only 937 individuals reported infected with H1N1 and 218 deaths in India. The health officials can give no reason for the rise in numbers of infections and deaths this year. Again, the officials are hoping for a drop in the numbers of new infections and deaths as the winter weather abates in India. The officials state that they have the medical infrastructure and medicine to treat any swine-flu-infected individual in India.

Feb. 9, 2015: According to India’s Health Ministry, total deaths from H1N1 influenza equaled 191 in January. This number of deaths is much higher than in January 2014. The Ministry predicts that because there is at least one more month of winter weather, additional numbers of infected individuals will impact public health and have a negative effect on the economy for the next few months. Severe infections progress rapidly (three to five days) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) seem to "have no effect at all." Some severely infected patients die within two days, according to one official.

Feb. 2, 2015: The BBC reported that over the last six weeks, at least 75 people in India have died from swine flu (H1N1). Although deaths have not reached the levels seen in 2012 (405) or 2013 (692), there is concern that because India is having a colder-than-normal winter (coldest in the last 20 years), the number of deaths may increase before the flu season abates. In addition, Indian health officials are investigating if the H1N1 virus has developed a "minor mutation." However, they indicate H1N1-infected patients are responding to current medicines.

Jan. 26, 2015: In New Delhi, India, another 18 people have tested positive for H1N1 swine flu virus. This brings the total number of people diagnosed to 179, with three deaths. However, officials suggest that there is no need for alarm as they expect the number of infected people to rapidly decline as the warmer weather begins to occur. New Delhi hospitals (22 hospitals) claim there are enough medicines in stock to treat individuals hospitalized with swine flu (H1N1).

Jan. 20, 2015: The H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu virus, has begun to cause concern in India this year. Since Jan. 1, 2015, over 150 swine flu infections have been reported, along with seven deaths in India. In Dec. 2014, positive cases of swine flu were first reported. Telangana, a state in the southern region of India, has reported the most cases of H1N1 (over 120). Currently, 10 other states in India have reported H1N1 infections with a few deaths. Because India has such a dense population and since H1N1 can be spread through the air via droplets, the Indian Health Ministry has asked their state officials to ensure sanitation and hygiene in all public places and to bring about awareness to people about the symptoms of swine flu. The concern is that rising numbers of swine flu infections may be the beginning of another H1N1 epidemic, although the current strain may not be as deadly as the 2009 H1N1 strain.

Where can I find more information about swine flu (H1N1 and H3N2v)?

For additional information see the following:

"Seasonal Influenza (Flu)," CDC

"Pregnant Women & Influenza (Flu)," CDC

"Influenza A (H3N2) Variant Virus," CDC

REFERENCES:

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Influenza (Flu)." Nov. 24, 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm>.

United States. Flu.gov. "H1N1." <http://www.flu.gov/about_the_flu/h1n1/>.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/26/2015

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/swine_flu/article.htm

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