Chandigarh, Feb 18: One more person died of swine flu in Haryana taking the death toll to 18 in the state, while 11 new patients were tested positive of the H1N1 virus in Punjab, health officials said today.
"A male patient in Kurukshetra, who had been put on ventilator support, died due to swine flu yesterday. With his death, the toll has climbed to 18 in the State," Haryana's Additional Director General, Health Services, Kamla Singh said. The number of positive cases of H1N1 virus in the state has touched 120.
Meanwhile, 11 new cases of swine flu surfaced in Punjab taking the toll of those tested positive of swine flu to 82, the State Surveillance Officer of Punjab Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Deepak Bhatia said. So far, 26 persons have succumbed to swine flu in Punjab.
However, the number of cases were likely to fall in about two weeks time once the mercury starts to rise and days turn warmer, a senior doctor at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here today said. Three persons have succumbed to swine flu so far this year in Chandigarh, with nine patients testing positive in the union territory, Nodal officer of the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme, Anil Garg said today.
The health officials of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh maintain that the situation is "under control" and hospitals are well equipped to take care of patients and there was no need for panic. Meanwhile, P V M Lakshmi, Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine of PGIMER here, said that after 2009 and 2013, there has been a spurt in the number of swine flu cases being reported this year, though mortality is not as high.
"In 2009, it was a pandemic virus. But over a period of time, the virus became indigenous and we started to develop immunity. However, after every few years, this influenza strain undergoes minor changes, which is why we see spurt in number of cases, though major changes are slow," Lakshmi said.
She said those with pre-existing health complications tend to be at more risk. "Among the vulnerable are those patients suffering from respiratory disorders, heart, liver, lung, kidney problems and other serious ailments like cancer, where the immunity levels are low. Old age persons and young children are also vulnerable and need to be careful," she said.