Seasonal flu cases on upward swing in Tamil Nadu

Twenty-five new cases and one death has been reported in last two months, while a large number of patients required intensive care due to the disease.

The predictions of flu-trackers indicating a high incidence of seasonal flu in Tamil Nadu are coming true as the state is witnessing an increase in the number of cases.

Tamil Nadu has witnessed more than 65 cases and two deaths up to April 24 this year as per the recent data released by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The state stands second in the list of highest number of influenza cases amongst all other states of the country as per the data after Rajasthan that recorded 1,343 cases and 124 deaths.

Though the state health department did not report influenza outbreak, government hospitals are seeing an increasing trend of the disease in the st-
ate. Twenty-five new cases and one death has been reported in last two months, while a large number of patients required intensive care due to the disease.

“Most of the influenza cases have been witnessed in older adults. The seasonal influenza-related respiratory diseases are mostly the cause of deaths. Acute respiratory illnesses worsen the symptoms such as cough, fever and shivering in an influenza patient,” says a pulmonologist at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

Tamil Nadu saw a spurt in cases of influenza deaths amidst the dengue outbreak between August-October last year and a total of 3315 cases and 17 deaths were recorded in 2017. The government hospital doctors are stressing on influenza vaccination coverage under Universal Immunization Programme to prevent the spurt in pediatrics especially.

Public health experts also say that an increased surveillance and laboratory support is needed to detect and respond immediately to influenza cases in the coming months.

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