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Written by Dr.Swati Rajagopal

The dreaded H1N1 viral influenza killed at least 72 people in Karnataka in 2018, marking a rise in the number of cases. On Saturday, IPS officer Madhukar Shetty died after being diagnosed with H1N1. As per the state department of health and family welfare statistics, as on December 27, as many as 1,600 patients tested positive for the influenza.

So why this surge in the number of cases and fatalities? According to medical experts and doctors the fluctuating weather conditions, heavy rains and global climate changes are some of the reasons which led to an increase in number of cases. Experts advise citizens to take influenza threats seriously. Dr Swati Rajagopal, consultant Infectious Disease, Aster CMI Hospital, said: “High-grade fever, headache, runny nose, burning sensation in eyes, body aches, muscle aches, throat pain, vomiting and diarrhoea are some of the symptoms of the disease. It is recommended that if one has flu-like symptoms, they should avoid travel and stay off work or schools.”

However, Dr Srividya S, consultant internal medicine, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur, said it’s not as scary as before. “While H1N1 infection is not as scary as it seemed a few years ago, it can still cause serious illness in certain patients, especially on senior citizens.”

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