In a bleak reminder of 2009 when the H1N1 virus or swine flu claimed scores of lives worldwide, a 34-year-old man died at Nashik Civil Hospital on April 1. Two days after Nandu Chavan died, he was found to be carrying the deadly virus.
Another patient in the same hospital has also tested positive. So far 12 people have died of swine flu in Maharashtra this year — 11 from Pune district.
“Chavan died of acute respiratory distress syndrome. The tests confirmed on Tuesday that he had swine flu,” said Dr Pradip Awate, state epidemiologist, directorate of health services.
Health officials said the incidence is likely to drop in 2-3 weeks as summer has set in.
Although these cases are sporadic and not similar to the outbreak in 2009 when swine flu claimed more than 90 people in Pune and more than 30 in Mumbai, doctors are not taking a chance.
In Mumbai, eight positive cases of swine flu have been reported so far. Officials said all eight were recovering well after they were given the prescribed drug Tamiflu.
One man has died of swine flu in Bhopal, while one more has tested positive. The deceased, Anil Hole, 37, of Saket Nagar was admitted to a private hospital on March 25 with severe cold and lung congestion.
“After he was diagnosed with pneumonia, his blood sample was sent to Jabalpur to check for swine flu. Hole died on March 27,” said Dr PN Agrawal of Agrawal Hospital and Research Centre.
The report confirmed Hole was suffering from swine flu.
There are four confirmed cases of swine flu in Gujarat, from Anand, Rajkot and Ahmedabad. “All four are under treatment,” said Gujarat’s health minister Jaynarayan Vyas.
“We are taking all possible measures to see that the epidemic does not spread. All government hospitals are equipped to treat the patients detected with deadly virus,” Vyas added.
In 2010, swine flu had claimed 18 lives in Gujarat — the casualties being 21% of the total cases reported in the state, which was significantly higher than the national average of 10%.
One person has died of swine flu in Nagaur, while a four-year old boy has tested positive in Jodhpur, says the health department. Since Sunday, six people have been found swine flu positive.
Director public health Dr BR Meena said there was no need to worry, as the department was equipped to combat this disease.