Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Cold ‘flu’ sweeping across Nagaland


H&FW deptt concerned over unreported cases

Staff Reporter

An overwhelming number of people including children are suffering from what is suspected to be the usual cold flu or winter flu or caused by change in weather.
As per reports from various hospitals and clinics, a majority of people in the state from almost every household, particularly young children, are suffering from flu-like symptoms with dry cough and itching throats.
Headaches, fatigue, and coughs are the most common symptoms of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Other symptoms have also been associated with it, such as congestion and runny noses.
The sheer number of people of all ages suffering from cold flu has largely led to diversion from the likelihood that it could be the new variant called Omicron.
According to a medical practitioner in a hospital, most patients though having symptoms like dry cough, itching throats etc indicating infection with Omicron, are not testing for covid/omicron. Preliminary studies show that it (Omicron) spreads 70 times faster in human bronchi – the tubes which carry air from your windpipe to your lungs – than other variants of the virus.
Meanwhile, amid surge in Covid-19 cases in Nagaland, the state Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) department has expressed serious concern as many positive cases were going unreported as those testing positive were not informing the agencies and conduct self-tests at home.
In view of rising Covid cases, high positivity rate and an increasing trend in hospitalisations, the health department has also issued ‘Yellow’ alert or situation level 2 for Dimapur and Kohima.
According to the weekly bulletin report released on Saturday, 582 new cases (highest in five months) were reported from the week (January 15-21) with the state’s weekly sample positivity rate at 10.6%.
However, three districts reported high positivity rate– Dimapur 12.8%, Kohima 11.8% and Peren 10.6%. During the week Dimapur reported 461 positive cases, Kohima 96 and Peren 22.
The health department warned that high sample positivity rate indicates large undetected cases in the population.
Further, the state also witnessed a 214% increase in hospitalization as 22 new Covid-19 hospital admissions were recorded as compared to seven the previous week. Dimapur reported 14 new weekly hospital admissions and eight in Kohima while two deaths were reported from Dimapur pushing the death toll to 689 Covid deaths and 16 non-Covid deaths but with positivity.
While urging all to avoid superspreader events, the health department at the same time strongly advised symptomatic patients to isolate and get tested.
Reminding all the vaccines remained the best tool against this pandemic, H&FW said that among symptomatic cases in 2022, 6% were classified under severe category. The severe cases were 23% in 2020 and 27% in 2021. However, it said that one must be cautious on interpreting clinical severity as hospitalisations and deaths follow only weeks after increase in cases.