Two more die as city battles swine flu, toll climbs to 15
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Two more swine flu deaths were reported from the capital on Wednesday, taking the death toll from the H1N1 virus to 15, since January 1.
According to Health department officials, a 53-year-old woman admitted to Apollo Hospitals died on Tuesday evening, while a 45-year-old man admitted to Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital died on Wednesday — both from respiratory complications associated with the virus.
Health officials said though there has been a lull in reporting of cases, elderly patients who have already been diagnosed with conditions such hypertension, diabetes or respiratory disorders like asthma were prone to complications.
Health Minister Dr A K Walia attributed the spurt in cases, since the beginning of the year, to the sporadic rains which led to high humidity levels and colder temperatures. These factors were conducive to the growth and spread of the H1N1 virus, he said.
With temperatures rising over the last few days, health officials said the virus is expected to start dissipating.
Thirty-four more patients tested positive for H1N1 on Wednesday, making it a total of 1,171 diagnosed cases since the beginning of this year.
According to advisories issued by the Health department this year, there is no need for vaccination or prophylactic or preventive treatment against the virus, since a large section of the population has become immune to it, since the 2009 pandemic.
All government hospitals were asked to open their isolation wards and ensure availability of adequate ventilators after the spurt in cases this year. The dedicated isolation wards and special ICU facilities had been closed over the last two years.
Virologists, who have analysed the prevalent viral strains this year have found that besides the H1N1 virus which is the most common, H3N2 and Influenza B strains are also circulating in the capital.
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