The H1N1 (swine flu) virus is on a comeback trail in Karnataka. According to statistics available with the Udupi district health office, four people have died due to swine flu since May 2011. Two people are undergoing treatment in Manipal and Udupi.
Speaking to DNA, Udupi district health officer Dr Ramachandra Bairy said: “There have been isolated cases in the past three months. Two victims were from Udupi and two others hailed from Shimoga. Hebri (30 km from Udupi), Manipura (12 km from Udupi), Sagar (Shimoga district) and Bellary have reported one case each in the past three months.”
Three people died in Udupi and Manipal during the first outbreak in 2009. Dr Bairy said: “The situation is not alarming, but we are monitoring it closely. This is an infection that spreads in the air. Once the virus is airborne, it’s not possible to stop the infection.
The best way to contain the spread of this infection is to treat patients in isolation wards. We have put together a system in association with Kastruba Medical College Hospital to treat the infection. If needed, the system can be re-assembled in a matter of hours,” added Dr Bairy.
The incidence of infection has been high in Shimoga, Bellary and Davangere. These districts do not have the required primary or secondary treatment facilities and they have referred the cases to Kastruba Medical College Hospital, Dr TMA Pai Hospital in Udupi or Wenlock Hospital in Mangalore.
Medical services department officials said despite being chief minister Yeddyurappa’s hometown, Shimoga has no facilities to treat H1N1 infections.Most of the patients being referred to hospitals in Manipal and Mangalore are from Shimoga.
State health minister Sriramulu’s hometown Bellary, too, does not have an H1N1 primary and secondary screening or treatment facilities.