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12-Year-Old Girl Dies of H1N1 in Kerala: Here’s What You Need to Know

Kerala reported the death of a 12-year-old girl from the H1N1 Swine Flu virus.

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A 12-year-old girl died of the H1N1 swine flu virus in the Ulliyeri region of Kozhikode, Kerala on Sunday, 29 May. She succumbed to the infection while undergoing treatment for swine flu.

The girl had returned from Bengaluru and began showing symptoms. But, H1N1 was confirmed only in a medical examination after she died.

The girl was first admitted to Koyilandy Taluk hospital in Kozhikode. Later, she was transferred to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

The twin sister of the girl has also been diagnosed with H1N1. She is currently under treatment.

Seasonal influenza (H1N1) is a self-limiting viral, air-borne disease that spreads from person to person, through large droplets generated due to coughing and sneezing, indirect contact and close contact.
Kerala reported the death of a 12-year-old girl from the H1N1 Swine Flu virus.

Swine flu is another name for the H1N1 virus. 

(Photo: iStock)

What is the H1N1 Virus?

A subtype of influenza A virus (a communicable viral disease), H1N1 Swine flu is a virus that causes upper, and potentially, lower respiratory tract infections in the host it infects. Thus, its resulting symptoms include nasal secretions, chills, fever, decreased appetite, and possibly lower respiratory tract disease.

It is a common infection in pigs worldwide (hence, the name swine flu) and can also infect human beings who are in close contact with pigs. H1N1 can potentially change its antigenic characteristics in humans as it infects them, making it inefficient in person-to-person transmission. However, if this virus becomes efficent in person-to-person transmission, we find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic (1918 and 2009).

Kerala reported the death of a 12-year-old girl from the H1N1 Swine Flu virus.

In 2009, a new strain of H1N1 swine flu spread fast around the world among humans, and the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled it a pandemic.

(Photo: iStock)

Past H1N1 Outbreaks: 1918 & 2009

The 1918 Spanish influenza is considered one of the world's deadliest pandemics, having claimed 50-100 million lives and it infected approximately 500 million people. It was caused by the influenza A virus strain.

A new strain of the same virus was found in April 2009, spreading rapidly around the world. The interesting part was that this virus was not transferring from pigs to human but rather, from human-to-human contact. About 2,84,500 people were reported to have been killed by the epidemic, while the actual number may be much higher.

Is There A Vaccine for Swine Flu?

Fortunately, yes. The H1N1 Vaccine was used to prevent the 2009 endemic from worsening and is effective against the strain. Besides that, an infected person will only require symptom relief care.

India has seen a few cases in the past years, particularly in 2015 when about 25,000 active cases were seen in the country.

Currently, 3 more probable cases are said to be found in Indore, Madhya Pradesh of the same H1N1 virus. Official reports are awaited.

(With inputs from PTI)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Swine Flu   Swine Flu Deaths   H1N1 India 

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