Bangalore: H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, claimed two more lives in Karnataka, taking the death toll in the state to eight.
The two deaths was reported by the Department of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday, one from Ballary and another from Bengaluru.
While the state had recorded only 20 positive cases of H1N1 between January and August 2018, the total number of cases in Bengaluru city alone has shot up to 44 in September alone.
The total number of positive cases has also increased to 542, marking an increase of 18 cases in a day. The highest number of cases have been reported under the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) area with 86 cases followed by Shivamogga which has recorded a total of 60 cases.
Taking note of the worsening situation, deputy chief minister G Parameshwara had convened a meeting with the health department and BBMP officials to formulate an action plan to curb the epidemic.
In spite of the preventive measures undertaken by the department, the lack of awareness among the public is leading to more deaths, said Dr Nagaraj, Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases.
“Most cases that we get are in their last stage. They are mostly referred from other hospitals. They should detect early suspicion and start treatment immediately,” said Nagaraj.
In many cases, due to financial constraints, patients are shifted to the RGICD after their treatment at private hospitals for four to five days. “This is extremely dangerous. Patients should be not shifted when they are intubated,” added Nagaraj.
In 2017, the total number of deaths due to H1N1 was 15 with 3260 positive cases reported.