Mangaluru, July 6,2017: June just gone by saw the district record its first dengue death, July has recorded first H1N1 death this year.Health officials rue that though the district has high awareness about vector borne and other diseases, the deaths are avoidable if patients approach healthcare facilities when fever symptoms are noticed.
Even the H1N1 death at Balpa in Sullia taluk, health officials say, occurred due to sheer neglect as the 36-year-old patient had symptoms for about 10 days. The district has recorded 116 H1N1 cases this year, while the neighbouring Udupi has already recorded five deaths and has 186 positive cases since January this year. Dakshina Kannada district recorded its first H1N1 death in March 2015 with a 62-year-old person succumbing to the flu.
Udupi district surveillance officer Dr Vasudev Upadyaya says the incidence of H1N1 is on the rise compared to last year and this trend is seen all over the state. Regarding whether there was negligence on the part of the patients, Dr Updadyaya said analysis of the five deaths did not show such trend barring the death of 43-year-old Laxminarayana from Padubidri. The rest of the deaths were due to co-morbid factors like asthma, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases. "Barring the Padubidri case, we cannot say that H1N1 was directly responsible for the deaths. The testing facilities in Udupi through MCVR, Manipal are excellent, so there was hardly any lapse on the part of patients or the doctors in administering drugs,’’ he said.
Dr BV Rajesh, DK district surveillance officer, said the health department officials have surveyed 90 houses in Balpa area and found five cases of fever. There is no indication of H1N1 in that area barring one death of Praveen Kumar, he said.
He cautioned that children with influenza-like illness, who had a severe disease as manifested by the red flag signs like somnolence, high and persistent fever, inability to feed well, convulsions, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, etc require immediate medical attention.