H1N1 deaths up, malaria cases dip
Courtesy:Times of India
Hetal Vyas, TNN Jul 27, 2012, 05.48AM IST
BANGALORE: While the number of dengue cases are on the rise, malaria, another deadly disease caused by mosquitoes, has gone down considerably in Karnataka.
Statistics maintained by the department of communicable diseases, health and family welfare department, showed a decrease of about 90% in malaria cases since 2010, with no deaths due to the disease since 2011.
Karnataka registered 44,108 confirmed cases of malaria in 2010, and 11 persons died. In 2011, the number of confirmed cases came down to 24,237, with zero deaths. The department has registered 3,885 confirmed cases of malaria till June 2012, and no resultant death has been reported yet.
“Cases of malaria have come down considerably due to timely measures taken by the government and municipal corporations. People are also more aware about the symptoms and reasons behind malaria. This has helped prevent the spread of the disease,” said a senior doctor attached to the department of communicable diseases.
Dr Hemanth HR, consultant, critical care medicines, BGS Global Hospitals said: “People are more conscious about mosquito bites at night. Malaria spreads through mosquitoes breeding in stagnant water, but these mosquitoes bite only at night. With increased awareness, people take preventive steps to avoid mosquito bites during the night hours. If the same care is taken during daytime, we will see a considerable fall in dengue cases.”
MALARIA AND THE STATE
Year Cases Deaths
2008 47,344 8
2009 36,830 0
2010 44,108 11
2011 4,237 0
2012 3,885 0
28 die of H1N1 in 6 months
Swine flu or influenza1 (H1N1) has resurfaced in Karnataka, claiming 28 lives in the first six months of 2012. In all, 346 people tested positive for the virus. The figures may not be alarming but it’s time to take some measures because the number of deaths in the state has almost doubled over the 2011 figure. Karnataka lost 16 people to H1N1 last year, said statistics maintained by the department of health and family welfare.
Early this month, an 18-month-old girl died due to swine flu in South Bangalore, while in June, the virus claimed a 4-month-old boy in Haveri. But experts say the situation is under control and the virus is not as aggressive as when it first surfaced in India during 2009. While 135 people died due to swine flu in Karnataka in 2009, 120 were reported dead in 2010.
Bangalore Rural and Urban reported five deaths due to the virus in 2012, whereas there has not been a single death due to H1N1 in Mysore.
Doctors are seeing a possibility of the virus infecting more people with low immunity or the migratory population. Said Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, medical director, Manipal Hospital: “Timely vaccination (TamiFlu) has increased the immunity of people against swine flu. That is the main reason behind the number of deaths due to H1N1 coming down. But the virus has not completely mutated. It can still be deadly for a person with low immunity or someone who has migrated to a new place and is not vaccinated against H1N1.”