Diarrhea and TB more Deadly than Swine flu – News Report India

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Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) — Tuberculosis and diarrhea-related diseases kill more people each day in India than the total number worldwide who have died from the H1N1 virus. Don’t be alarmed by swine flu, authorities say.

Mumbai and New Delhi residents rushed to purchase face masks after India recorded its first swine flu death on Aug. 3, prompting the federal government to advise the general public against buying them and creating a shortage for health-care workers. Daily media coverage of the fatalities, currently at 20, prompted India yesterday to ask broadcasters to exercise restraint and not create panic, Times of India reported.

“People intuitively overestimate the risk of rare events and underestimate the risk of common events,” S.J. Habayeb, the World Health Organization’s representative to India, said by e- mail. “This has happened with the novel H1N1 influenza virus.”

Data point to low virulence of H1N1 compared with diseases such as avian influenza, deadly in three out of five cases. Swine flu has killed about 1,500 people since the outbreak began in April, less than 1 percent of the case total, the latest WHO tally showed. An average 1,250 people die each day in India from diarrhea-related diseases and 1,000 from tuberculosis, according to a 2006 report by the Geneva-based organization.
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