Maldivians warned of influenza threat in India

Maldivians travelling to India have been warned by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) about the spread of influenza in the north of the country.

HPA’s Epidemiologist Dr Aishath Aruna told Sun Online that the virus had been misreported in local media as swine flu. Instead, influenza H1N1 is not swine flu and is less dangerous.

So far 450 people have been affected by influenza in Rajasthan in northern India, of which 94 people have died from the virus.

Local media reported that most of the deaths have been pregnant women and that the chances of the virus spreading to other parts of the country are high.

Dr Aruna told local media that influenza H1N1 virus had been observed in the Maldives since 2010, and that the virus prolongs and intensifies the symptoms of common colds.

Maldivians visiting India are advised to avoid crowds, wash hands with soap frequently – especially after coughing or sneezing – and make sure to receive vaccinations should your doctor advise you to.