One death, 33 more swine flu cases in Delhi

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) A swine flu patient died while 33 people tested positive for the Influenza A (H1N1) virus in the national capital Tuesday, taking the toll to four and total number of cases to 154 this year, an official said.

The health ministry however assured that the situation was under control and there was no need to impose travel restrictions.

"Thirty-three people tested positive for swine flu and one death has been reported today (Tuesday) from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital," a Delhi Health Service doctor told IANS.

According to doctors, there has been a sudden spurt in the number of cases. In January alone, there was one death and 39 cases, while February so far has seen three deaths and 115 cases.

According to Delhi government, only 78 cases and one death were reported in 2012.

Health ministry officials said the World Health Organisation, while declaring swine flu pandemic to be over in August 2010, conveyed that the virus would take on the behaviour of seasonal flu and continue to circulate for some years to come.

Hence, in the post-pandemic period, localised outbreaks of varying magnitude with significant level of H1N1 transmission are expected, they said, adding there has been a spurt in the number of cases in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab.

As the virus is circulating within the country, there is no need to impose any travel restrictions or screening at inter-state point of entry and railway stations, a senior health ministry official said.

The situation is well under control and is being monitored, he said.

"A large number of these cases would be presenting mild influenza like symptoms and as such require no anti-viral drug treatment," he said.

"However, it is important to get oneself examined at the nearest hospital in the initial part of illness to detect moderate illness and other associated risk factors that require hospitalisation," he said.

Officials said anti-viral drug Oseltamivir is available free of cost through the state public health system and a central stockpile of about 5.5 million tablets is also maintained.

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