IT hub Bangalore pushing up swine flu toll

Bangalore, Aug 29 ( Most swine flu deaths in Karnataka – where the casualty figures are second only to that of Maharashtra – have taken place in Bangalore, and experts say one reason could be the number of visitors the city gets from other parts of the country and abroad as an IT hub.

With three more fresh cases of deaths due to Influenza A (H1N1) reported Friday – two of them in Bangalore – Karnataka’s toll has risen to 23 while the Maharashtra figure stands at 48.

Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) director Shashidhar Buggi said the virus has to be fought with great caution.

“Bangalore being the IT hub of India sees travellers from foreign shores and various parts of the country on a large scale. Thus the spread of the H1N1 virus in the city is not unusual,” said Buggi.

“It’s time to cooperate and fight the virus. Both the health experts and common people need to work together. People need to check themselves properly, even if they have normal flu symptoms. If further check up is needed, they should not avoid it,” added Buggi.

State health commissioner P.N. Sreenivasachari told Inditop: “It’s difficult to say why Karnataka, more precisely Bangalore, which is endowed with adequate healthcare facilities, is witnessing large number of swine flu deaths. We too are puzzled.

“We can say the virus is already in the air and it’s time people became more aware and cautious to stop the spread of the virus. However, from the point of view of the administration, we have provided adequate healthcare facilities to treat swine flu patients,” added Sreenivasachari.

Principal secretary (Health) I.R. Perumal said people should not get panicky.

“People with swine flu like symptoms should immediately get themselves checked, as the city is well equipped to deal with the pandemic,” added Perumal.

On Friday, two deaths were reported from Bangalore, one came from Bijapur.

Gowdappa Biradar, 3, died at a private hospital in Bijapur Aug 26. Health officials confirmed that the child was suffering from swine flu, after his test report confirmed H1N1 status Friday evening.

Bangalore’s two swine flu deaths related to Azra Kausar, 35, and Sowbhagya, 48. Kausar died Aug 28, while Sowbhagya died Aug 26. However, confirmed reports that both were suffering from the H1N1 virus was received Friday evening, said health officials.

Out of 21 swine flu deaths in the state, Bangalore accounts for 16. The Udupi toll is two and one death each has been reported from Belgaum, Kolar and Bijapur.