Amid rising COVID-19 infections in Nepal, multiple cases of H1N1 virus infection, also known as swine flu virus infection, have been recorded from various locations, prompting health officials to urge for tight monitoring across the nation.
At least 57 instances of H1N1, often known as swine flu, have been reported in the previous two months, particularly at a time when health officials across the nation are dealing with the fourth wave of Covid, according to the Kathmandu Post. Misdiagnosis and carelessness might be common at this period, leading to delayed treatment and possibly death, according to health experts.
Several public health specialists have warned that the H1N1 virus, in conjunction with the COVID-19 virus, might produce a “twindemic” in the Himalayan country.
According to the World Health Organization’s Global Influenza Surveillance, at least 57 instances of H1N1 infection have been recorded since June 6, as have 55 cases of AH3 virus infection, generally known as Hong Kong flu.
“Many individuals, including important officials and leaders, perished in our nation in the past from H1N1 virus infection,” said Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun, Chief of Clinical Research Unit at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital.
“What concerns me is that influenza cases have not been recorded as frequently since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, and this time instances are spiking with Covid-19 infections,” he noted.
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The symptoms of the H1N1 virus and the Omicron form of coronavirus coincide, which might result in misdiagnosis and misunderstanding.
Patients in both diseases, however, experience fever, cough, shortness of breath, exhaustion, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, vomiting and diarrhoea, among other symptoms.
“Both viruses induce respiratory sickness and, if not treated on time, both cause severity and fatalities,” stated another health expert, who also happens to be an infectious disease and critical care specialist.
Two people died on Tuesday, while 1,090 people tested positive for Covid in 2,958 polymerase chain reaction tests and 530 in 3,342 antigen testing, but the cause of infection in almost 5,000 people remains unexplained.
Notably, hospitals in Nepal have previously recorded cases of persons being infected with both Covid-19 and influenza at the same time.
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