THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Seventeen new cases of H1N1 infection were reported in district on Monday, confirming fears that the virus transmission has become rapid in the wake of monsoon and the lowering of mercury levels.
One case each was reported from Malappuram and Kollam districts also, taking the total number of H1N1 cases in the State to 1,697. About 23 persons are currently in home and hospital quarantine across the State, with four cases admitted to the intensive care units. Health officials said the test swab results of 17n cases came together as there was a backlog of two days for sample testing.
�Following the earlier guidelines of the Union Health Ministry, we are testing only category C cases now. The numbers would be much more if we started testing everyone coming to the hospitals with the symptoms of cold because H1N1 is very much a community disease now and for every case confirmed, there could be scores of mild H1N1 cases in the community, which might resolve spontaneously with proper rest, food and hot fluids, State nodal officer for H1N1 Amar Fettle said.
The cases suddenly flared up with the commencement of the rain and eight deaths were reported in the past one month, five of which were of pregnant women or women who were just delivered of the baby. Public health experts pointed out that in spite of sufficient warnings that the rain could bring alive the virus again, neither the public nor the medical fraternity seemed to have taken these warnings at face value.