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Rising temperature to curb the swine flu menace, no. of cases on a decline

Written by Editorial Team |Published : March 26, 2015 10:01 AM IST

As on March 24, the total number of deaths due swine flu has reached 1975, and the total number of positive cases reported has reached 32,995.

As reported by The Hindu, total number of 1497 cases were reported during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. But this year 1496 cases were reported in February and March alone. The difference the trend of the diseases is evident as back in 2009, the number of swine flu cases increased during the monsoon and post-monsoon period. But this year, the number of cases has been on the rise through the winter. (Read: Swine flu: Ten facts you should know)

Ideally with the onset of summer, the number of cases should decline as the H1N1 virus cannot survive high temperatures. Even as new cases are reported from across the country, there is a drop in the new cases reported each day.

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How does weather affect a virus?

The exact mechanism behind how low temperatures affect the spread of swine flu is not clear, yet there are a few things that are responsible for its spread.

  1. During winter, the air tends to be dry which leads to dehydration of the mucous membranes. Mucous membranes are a line of defence from various respiratory infections. They trap any allergens and viruses that can cause infection. If these membranes dry out, they fail to perform their function of trapping allergens and hence, make one more susceptible to infections.
  2. People tend to stay indoors during winters, due to which they are in close contact with each other. Staying indoors increases the chances of transmission of the virus from person to person.

In low temperatures, the virus tends to linger for a long time on exposed surfaces like door knobs, handles, mobile phones, etc., spreading the infection. (Read: Swine flu symptoms and signs you MUST be aware of )Here are 17 of the most common swine flu questions answered.

Image source: Getty Images

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