Woman from Dera Bassi tenth victim this year
Tribune News Service Mohali, October 7 Ten persons have died of swine flu (H1N1 influenza) in Mohali district, the highest in the past five years. The death toll has risen from five to 10 in the past one month with fatalities reported from Sohana, Dera Bassi, Boothgarh and Kansala. A 60-year-old woman from Dera Bassi died of swine flu at a private hospital in Sohana yesterday. This is the second swine flu death in Dera Bassi this year. Mohali district has recorded the highest number of swine flu cases in the past five years with as many as 47 positive cases reported so far in 2017, of which 10 deaths have occurred. In 2016, eight persons had tested positive for swine flu and three deaths were reported. Dr Deepti Sharma, Epidemiologist (ISDP), nodal officer for swine flu at Civil Hospital, Mohali, said the swine flu cases followed a cyclical trend. The reason for a spurt in swine flu cases this year was variation in the gene of the virus. “The new michigan strain is the reason for the spurt in swine flu cases. The swine flu virus typically spreads in winter from November to March. There has been a change in the strain of virus which has led to a rise in swine flu cases,” she said. “Maximum cases are from the urban areas of Mohali. Due to congested spaces in urban areas, the H1N1 virus spreads fast there. Infants below the age of five and people above 55 are more susceptible to contracting the virus,” she said, adding that people suffering from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer were at risk. She said they had the necessary logistics and medicines, including isolation wards and flu corners for screening and segregation of patients. “Sufficient stock of Tamiflu capsules is available. There is provision for Viral Transport Media (VTM) for sample collection, personal protective kits and masks. We have also issued guidelines for prevention and awareness of swine flu,” she added. The cyclical trend In 2013, 29 positive cases were reported and five persons had died. The following year, no case of swine flu was reported in the district. In 2015, the swine flu cases increased to 37, resulting in eight deaths. The cyclical trend continued in 2016 with only eight positive cases and three swine flu deaths being reported.