Two more die of swine flu, season count rises to 11

Yet

Two patients succumbed to H1N1 virus-related complications on Tuesday, taking the swine flu toll to 11 patients since January 1. Also, the tally of diagnosed patients crossed the 500 mark.

A 45-year-old woman at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and a 36-year-old patient at Apollo Hospital in Sarita Vihar succumbed to the illness, reportedly from respiratory complications. Both patients were admitted in the ICU and were on ventilator support. An official said the respiratory problems led to compromised lung function.

"The swine flu virus is known to cause respiratory distress if diagnosed late or in patients suffering from other problems like asthma, diabetes or cardiovascular problems. Once it affects the lungs, patients are unable to breathe on their own," he said.

Another 53 patients tested positive for the H1N1 virus on Tuesday, after sporadic rainfall over the weekend. A total of 510 patients been diagnosed with the virus since January 1. Compared to this, in 2011 and 2012, 22 and 78 patients, respectively, had tested positive for the virus in the entire year.

Health department officials said the intermittent rainfall over the past two months had led to the rise in swine flu cases.

With more rainfall expected over the coming weekend, officials said the conditions are still conducive for the spread of the virus. "High humidity levels and low temperatures create an environment where the virus can grow and spread. People should wash their hands properly and frequently, and carry a handkerchief as a precautionary measure," Health minister Dr A K Walia said.

The Health department said there is no need for vaccination against the virus, barring the high-risk people.

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