Bhopal: Swine flu has claimed 111 lives in little over three months in Madhya Pradesh, signalling that the H1NI influenza has become a serious health issue in the state.

“111 people have died due to swine flu in 94 days and 647 have tested positive for the H1N1 virus between July 1 and October 2 in Madhya Pradesh," state health director K.L. Sahu said on Tuesday. He said swine flu prevalence has been found in 44 out of Madhya Pradesh’s 51 districts. 44 patients died of the H1N1 virus infection from 1 July to 7 September (69 days), while 57 persons succumbed to the influenza from 8 September to 2 October, according to the official figures of the MP health department.

The figures suggest that more than two persons died of swine flu daily in the last 23 days, signalling that the situation was serious. Sahu said 647 patients had tested positive for the H1N1 virus in Madhya Pradesh since 1 July. Sahu, however, said the state government is making all-out efforts to check the disease. According to information gathered from chief health and medical officers of different districts (CMHOs), the spreading of swine flu was more serious in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Damoh, Sehore and Sagar districts. Of the deceased, the highest number of patients died in Indore (20), the cleanest city of India according to a latest survey under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA).

The disease has also killed 10 people in Bhopal—the “second-cleanest city of India", besides eight in Jabalpur, seven each in Damoh and Sehore, six in Sagar, five each in Ujjain, Hoshangabad, Betul and Ratlam, four in Raisen, three in Balaghat, two each in Morena, Shahdol and Seoni and one each Jhabua, Mandsaur, Shivpuri and Satna; the remaining deaths have been reported from 16 others districts. Of the people who tested positive, 118 are from Bhopal, 83 from Jabalpur, 53 from Indore, 30 from Ujjain and Sagar, 25 each from Mandsaur and Betul, 20 from Sehore, 18 from Damoh, 17 from Hoshangabad, 13 from Dewas, 11 from Satna, nine from Ratlam, eight each from Morena and Raisen, seven each from Khargone and Shahdol, five each from Seoni and Balaghat and 155 from other 25 districts, official figures reveal.

Of these people, some are being treated while others have been discharged from different hospitals after they were cured, said the CMHOs. Swine flu tests are being carried out at Jabalpur, Gwalior and AIIMS in Bhopal, they added. Doctors said there was no shortage of the medicine Tamiflu to treat patients. “Earlier, H1N1 used to spread from swine to swine. But it was discovered that it was spreading from human to human in 2009," veteran pulmonologist Lokendra Dave told PTI.

“This virus strikes people in all seasons and it has become common now. There is no need to panic over it. Rather, focus should be on its timely treatment and cure," he added. He said that H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu, was a pneumonia-type disease. Dave said the average mortality rate due to H1N1 virus was one among 200 patients. A renowned pulmonologist from Jabalpur, Dr Jitendra Bhargava, said people should not take common flu lightly. “Rest, nutritious diet and liquid intake was important to beat the disease. Elderly, diabetic and immune compromised people fall easy prey to the H1N1 virus," he said.

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