With 31 deaths, Rajasthan is the worst hit by swine flu this year

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Swine flu, Influenza, Flu

Delhi has reported 168 swine flu cases this year while Gujarat reported 210 cases; neither state saw any deaths

BJP president Amit Shah may have recovered from swine flu and resumed his normal punishing schedule – Shah attended a meeting in Malda in West Bengal on Tuesday – but the disease is wrecking havoc in Rajasthan and to a lesser extent, in Delhi.

Till January 13 this year, 789 cases of swine flu have been reported in Rajasthan, says data available with the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP). Of the 49 people who have died of the disease in the country, 31 are from Rajasthan. Delhi has reported 168 cases. Shah’s home state Gujarat reported 210 cases and no deaths. Haryana has reported 128 cases and 2 deaths. In 2018, 14992 cases and 1103 deaths were reported in the country.

While the words swine flu have been dreaded since 2009 when the disease was widespread enough for the WHO to declare it a pandemic, in presentation and mode of infection, swine flu is little different from seasonal flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define swine flu as: “a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Influenza viruses that commonly circulate in swine are called “swine influenza viruses” or “swine flu viruses.” Like human influenza viruses, there are different subtypes and strains of swine influenza viruses.”

While the words swine flu have been dreaded since 2009 when the disease was widespread enough for the World health Organisation to declare it a pandemic, in presentation and mode of infection, swine flu is little different from seasonal flu. The symptoms include cough fever sore throat body ache etc. Complications include respiratory distress and pneumonia. Children, older people and senior citizens are at heightened risk both for swine flu and for developing its complications.

The treatment of swine flu is similar to that of seasonal flu too. The drugs commonly used are some of the same antiviral drugs that are used to treat seasonal flu. These include  Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), and zanamivir (Relenza). The seasonal influenza vaccine also protects against swine flu. Normally when in the vicinity of a patient or when there is an outbreak it is advisable to use a mask to prevent infection.

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