Swine flu scare: 39 dead in last 24 hours, 624 deaths this year

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The deadly swine flu virus has claimed 39 more lives between February 15-16 taking the total number of deaths this year to 624 succumbing to the fatal disease.

A total of 9311 people have contracted swine flu this year in the country. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are the worst affected states with their respective tolls standing at 176, 150, 81 and 58 according to official figures.

With the death toll rising, the number could surpass that of 2013, which had reported 699 deaths. In the last year, 218 people had died of swine flu.

Meanwhile, Health Minister J P Nadda chaired a high-level review meeting here to take stock of the crisis as officials assessed reports from states and measures to deal with the infectious disease, sources said.

As reports emerged about shortage of medicines at some places, Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) wrote to over 10000 chemists across the country to stock Oseltamivir drug but not sell it without prescription, they said.

It also asked chemists to keep a photocopy of the prescriptions on which they have sold the drug.

Swine flu carrier, the H1N1 influenza virus, is prone to appear in winter months. It is characterised by throat problems, body ache and respiratory complications.

Here are the dos and don`ts to be followed:

Dos list

-Avoid close contact with an infected person.

-It is always recommended to cover your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing.

-Wash your hands frequently with disinfectant soap and water.

-Extra care is needed for children.

-Get yourself checked in case of high fever and breathlessness.

Don`ts list

-As the flu is now spreading by people-to-people to contact, avoid visiting closed and crowded places.

-Always ensure wearing a mask while going close to an infected person.

-Don't touch your mouth and nose before washing your hands properly.

-Keep your surroundings clean and don't forget to sanitize rooms or belongings that may have been used by patients with influenza symptoms.

(With Agency inputs)