Epidemic scare? 440 swine flu cases detected in New Year in Delhi

173 new cases in last 8 days alone, deadly virus claims eight more lives

New Delhi: The number of swine flu patients in Delhi is increasing rapidly. In the last 8 days, 173 new cases have come to light. Till January 28, as many as 440 patients had been diagnosed with the deadly flu in the national capital.

Authorities have confirmed five deaths at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital taking the toll at the hospital to 10 since the outbreak of infection. Besides three patients have succumbed to the deadly flu at Safdarjung Hospital. However, the Delhi government has claimed no Delhi resident has died of flu so far.

Between January 21 and 28, as many as 173 fresh cases of swine flu have been reported. Thus, in the month of January, total 440 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Delhi.

Deceased at Safdurjung Hospital belonged to UP

As swine flu’s grip on city tightens, on Sunday two patients tested positive at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, while on Monday five more tested positive. Besides Safdarjung Hospital authorities have confirmed the death of three patients. The deceased are said to be from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

Dr Nutan Mehta, chief doctor of the Emergency Wing at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, said that seven people afflicted with flu have died at the hospital since January 1 alone. Besides another 57 people are suspected be affected and 18 of them have tested positive.

PCR test

Dr (Prof) Naval Vikram of AIIMS said that the swine flu swab test is also called real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. It is done to ascertain whether the patient has swine flu or not. If the patient tests positive, it is confirmed that he is suffering from the flu.

He said this test is not advisable for the patients of the first category. Only the second and third category patients are advised to do this test. Those who are more prone to influenza can use the vaccine for protection. Vaccine should be administered to all high risk persons including people above 65 years of age, those suffering from diabetes, asthma, pregnant women and children.

Advisory issued

With swine flu infection spreading rapidly in the capital, Delhi Government has issued advisory and asked people to take all precautions. The virus can spread through doors, phones, keyboards or remote controls.

(Story by: Tarun Sisodia)