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Science & Technology

Covid-19 in States with High Swine Flu Rates

  • 05 May 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu account for about 70% of India’s confirmed Covid-19 cases till now.

Key Points

  • Data History of Swine Flu
    • 2019: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Maharashtra accounted for 54%.
    • 2018: Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat accounted for 65%.
    • Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are among India's most populous states and see intense migration to other states for work still they have not been in the top list always.
  • Parallels between Covid-19 and Swine Flu
    • Both are caused due to pathogens that trace their origins to viruses from non-human hosts even though they belong to different families.
      • Both respiratory viruses that spread through contact.
    • Both infiltrate the lungs and cause characteristic pulmonary infections but they have varying lethality.
      • Swine flu infections have a higher case fatality rate (deaths per confirmed cases) and can cause significant deaths in children as well as those less than 60.
      • Covid-19 is relatively more dangerous to those above 60 and almost harmless in children.
        • However, due to lack of sufficient research, it cannot be said which age group is safer or not.
    • High number of Covid-19 and Swine Flu cases have been observed in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
      • The relative dominance of these diseases can be attributed to the migration for work.
  • Observations
    • February-March are typical months for influenza (viral infection of upper or lower respiratory tract) in India.
    • Most influenza activity in northern India has been seen during the summer months but in southern and western India, cases occurred mostly during winter months.
    • According to scientists, due to the novel nature of Covid-19, the possibility of another spike later in the year cannot be ruled out.
    • For Swine flu, this year there is an exceptional rise in testing and active surveillance across states otherwise only few states have the infrastructure and system to actively report cases.
      • Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have 50 testing laboratories each for Covid-19 many of which are also deployed for Swine flu.

Swine Flu

  • It is caused by the swine flu virus, the H1N1.
  • It is an infection of the respiratory tract characterized by the usual symptoms of flu like cough, nasal secretions, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and headache.
  • It is called swine flu because in the past it was known to occur in people who had been in the vicinity of pigs.
  • The virus is transmitted by short-distance airborne transmission, particularly in crowded enclosed spaces. Hand contamination and direct contact are other possible sources of transmission.

Source: TH

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