Swine flu and dengue have so far claimed 29 deaths in Tamil Nadu since the start of the rainy season, according to the Tamil Nadu Government’s health department.
Dr K Kolandaswamy, Director of Public Health, has told local media that “as of date, 17 swine flu and 12 dengue deaths have been reported”. He has said dengue cases are less than last year and are under control, but” swine flu remains a challenge”.
Television channels have reported that the victims who succumb are mostly children and the old. While both are viral fevers, swine flu spreads through aedes mosquito which is active during day time. Local bodies across the state have launched a massive awareness campaign through television and other mass media that aedes mosquito breeds in clean water stored in open containers like buckets, vessels and overhead tanks,.
People have been asked to keep the water containers closed and overhead tankers cleaned with bleaching powder every ten days. The people have also been asked to keep their surroundings dry and free from garbage.
So far over 1,000 cases of swine flu and 2,900 cases of dengue have been reported this season across the State. If the fatalities are relatively low, it is because Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar has set up special wards in government hospitals.
The Minister has asked people to get admitted to hospital if they have persistant fever for five days.” The fatalities occur because they come to hospital only on the fifth day by when it is too late”, he has said.
Besides, the Minister has also launched mobile clinics to reach medical aid to people at their door step.
The Minister has said adequate stocks of medicines are kept ready and the health department is taking all steps to contain the cases.
Dr Kolandaswamy has said: “We are continuously monitoring the situation and there is a slight dip in cases of both dengue and swine flu. We hope this dip will continue further”.
However, the threat will continue as this is the north-east monsoon season which will last till the middle of December.