Swine flu has affected an alarming number of people in Visakhapatnam this year. Surprisingly, the rural and tribal areas have significantly much fewer cases than the urban areas of the district.
The District Medical & Health Officer (DMHO), Mr S. Tirupathi Rao, told The Hindu that there has been a four times increase in the number of swine flu cases in the district till 31 May 2019, compared to the same period last year. He mentioned that around 160 cases of swine flu have been reported this year while there were only 40 last year.
Reportedly, the massive political campaigning across Visakhapatnam could have been a major cause of the rise in these numbers. An official of the health department pointed out that the large public meetings, and rallies, that were conducted during the elections facilitated the transfer of the H1N1 virus from an infected person. Moreover, the hot and humid weather conditions in Vizag were ideal for such viruses to get transmitted to many people easily.
Officials suggest people cover their mouths and noses while going out in the public and to regularly wash their hands to protect themselves from catching the virus from an infected person.
Meanwhile, officials reported that there has been a marked decline in the occurrence of carrier-borne diseases mentioning the decrease in Malaria cases from 500 last year to 230 this year. This has been possible with the efforts taken by the officials in educating people, especially in the rural areas, on maintaining hygiene. According to the DMHO, in the urban areas, the GVMC has conducted door to door programmes, to check for any water stagnation, and conduct regular fogging operations as well.