Swine flu menace continues unabated in the country; death toll 75

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) Seventy-five swine flu deaths were reported last week, pushing the death toll due to the virus to 605 this year, Union Health Ministry data showed Monday, as the menace continued unabated across the country.
Over 19,380 people have tested positive for the virus, according to the data compiled until Sunday.
Rajasthan reported the highest number of swine flu cases (4,551) and deaths (162) followed by Gujarat (118 deaths and 3,969 cases), the data showed.
Delhi was third with 3,362 swine flu cases and seven deaths.
Swine flu claimed 71 lives and infected 357 people in Madhya Pradesh.
In Maharashtra, 52 people died due to the virus while 675 were affected by it.
Himachal Pradesh reported 34 deaths and 298 cases; Punjab 31 deaths and 517 cases, Uttar Pradesh 18 deaths and 1,431 cases while Haryana reported 14 deaths and 982 cases.
Karnataka reported 14 deaths and 825 cases of swine flu and Telangana 12 deaths and 818 cases.
As the number of swine flu cases has been on a rapid increase, the Health Ministry has asked state governments to bolster their surveillance for early detection of the disease and keep beds reserved in hospitals to deal with acute cases.
States have been advised to involve district collectors to enhance public awareness and outbreak response.
The Drug Controller General of India has been asked to coordinate with drug manufacturers and monitor the availability of Oseltamivir, the medicine recommended by WHO to treat swine flu infection, in various states.
The Health Ministry has recommended vaccination for healthcare workers and other priority groups.
Seasonal influenza (H1N1) is a self-limiting viral, air-borne disease spread from person to person, through large droplets generated due to coughing and sneezing, indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface and close contact, including handshaking, hugging and kissing.
The dos and don’ts mention covering nose and mouth with disposable tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing, washing hands with soap and water frequently, avoiding crowded places, maintaining isolation, drinking plenty of liquid and consulting a doctor.
According to the advisory, one should not touch the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, or hug, kiss or shake hands while greeting, or spit in public places, and dispose of used napkin or tissue paper in open areas.

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