Three women died due to swine flu-related complications in private hospitals in Mumbai and peripheral regions over the past two days.
Three other deaths were reported in Mumbai hospitals earlier this month. BMC officials said Tamiflu tablets were administered to the women but they didn’t respond to the treatment.
One of the victims, a 28-year-old woman who was six months pregnant, died on Tuesday.
A 45-year-old woman, who was admitted at a hospital in Kalyan, and a 58-year-old woman, who was hospitalised in Thane, died on Wednesday.
“The pregnant woman had lesions in her heart, the 45-year-old suffered from hypertension and the 58-year-old had diabetes. These underlying medical conditions made them more vulnerable,” said Dr Daksha Shah from BMC’s epidemiology cell.
Two more tested positive for swine flu on Thursday, taking the total number of positive cases in the city to 63 in June.
The spurt in swine flu cases has prompted state officials to review the action plan for tackling the infection.
The state may change the recognition criteria that private hospitals have to fulfill in order to be eligible to treat swine flu patients. “We will meet to decide on new criteria for private hospitals soon so that more private hospitals can be eligible to treat swine flu. We want to make it easier for patients to get treated,” said Dr Pradeep Awate of the state influenza cell.
The BMC will also sensitise private hospital doctors about the changing swine flu symptoms, so they can treat patients. “Tamiflu is now available over the counter now so any qualified doctor can prescribe it,” said Sarvaree Gokhale, additional chief secretary (health).
On Wednesday, Hindustan Times had reported that the H1N1 virus has undergone slight genetic mutation.
Dr Sanjay Oak, director of major BMC hospitals, confirmed this. “Dr AC Mishra from the National Institute of Virology told us there are several copies of the of H1N1 virus,” he said. “But the component of the virus which makes it infectious has remained the same so Tamiflu is still working well.”