Swine flu and dengue cases rising in India, govt warns

NEW DELHI : India is being buffeted by cases of swine flu and dengue that are threatening to become an outbreak just as it seeks to close the chapter on the covid pandemic.

The country has reported more than 30,627 cases of dengue with 12 deaths this year until the end of August, according to the latest data by the union health ministry.

The burden is the highest in Karnataka (5,392), Tamil Nadu (3,396), Telangana (2,960), Maharashtra (2,927), Andhra Pradesh (2,309), Kerala (2,007), Odisha (1,745), Chhattisgarh (1448) and Gujarat (1212).

More than 1,455 cases of swine flu with 30 deaths have been reported this year in India. Maharashtra reported the highest number (512 cases, 16 deaths), followed by Karnataka (283), Gujarat (205), Rajasthan (125), West Bengal (81), Goa (61) Telangana (38) and Delhi (12). The union health ministry has directed all states and UTs to take surveillance measures for reporting cases, offer timely treatment and be prepared to avoid an outbreak.

Influenza (flu) and covid-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. However, both infections have common symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Both covid-19 and swine flu viruses spread by droplets, while dengue is carried by mosquitoes.

While in Covid, respiratory distress arises in the second week, in swine flu, shortness of breath starts right from the first week. India has reported around 4,500 covid cases in the last 24 hours.

A senior official from the National Centre for Disease Control on the condition of anonymity said, “Some states are already seeing an outbreak of dengue and swine flu cases, but the outbreak is not pan-India. The reason for dengue is extreme rains this year in many parts of the country. Central government is aware of the rising cases. As of now, states are monitoring the cases at their level and the Centre will send the teams if needed.”


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