City readies for second wave of swine flu | india | Hindustan Times
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City readies for second wave of swine flu

International experts have predicted an imminent second wave of the H1N1 virus, this one more dangerous.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2009 02:21 IST
Bhavika Jain

International experts have predicted an imminent second wave of the H1N1 virus, this one more dangerous.

To prepare for that, and the fact that flu cases tend to surge in Mumbai’s winters, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning 168 civic dispensaries and additional staff. “H1N1 cases have levelled off for now, but experts say it can return with a vengeance in November-December,” said Executive Health officer Jairaj Thanekar.

“We’re preparing for a rise in numbers in winter,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar. In Mumbai, flu cases and respiratory infections typically start rising in October. “That’s the time when immunity reduces,” said Thanekar.

A BMC study of 629 H1N1 patients revealed 25 per cent were from Mumbai’s periphery. A state-appointed committee has decided to increase the number of screening centres in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Khopoli and other city areas.

Of the 629 patients, 453 were adults, 34 were infants under 4, about 55 per cent of the positive cases were aged 15-35. “The 15-35 group is the most mobile, so they’re most easily infected, but they also recover the fastest,” said Mhaiskar.

“We’ve opened 10 Intensive Care Units at Nair Hospital for people who come in critical condition,” Mhaiskar said. Of the 46,536 patients screened in Mumbai so far, 826 have tested positive, 11 are critical.