Beware, 13 more swine flu deaths in Maharashtra in 5 days, visit a doctor if you are unwell
A majority of the deaths were recorded in Pune, Nashik, Ahmednagar and Pune, said officials from the state’s health departmentmumbai Updated: May 08, 2017 15:50 IST
There have been 13 more swine flu or H1N1-related deaths in the state in the past five days, taking the toll caused by the virus to 178 this year.
A majority of the deaths were recorded in Pune, Nashik, Ahmednagar and Pune, said officials from the state’s health department. A total of 900 cases have been recorded this year, they added. Last year, the virus claimed 26 lives and the state recorded 82 cases.
“This year, like in 2015, swine flu has become a major public health concern,” said Dr Pradip Awate, state’s surveillance officer.
He said this year a different H1N1 virus strain has been predominant, which has led to an increase in the transmission.
“Last year, the California strain was predominantly circulating, this year it’s the Michigan strain of the virus that is circulating in India, according to the National Institute of Virology (NIV),” he said. Both are subgroups of the H1N1 strain.
“People may not have developed an immunity for this strain, which is why transmission is rapid,” he said.
To prevent transmission of the virus, 27,000 people from the vulnerable category — diabetics, pregnant women, hypertensive patients and elderly — have been vaccinated, he added.
On Friday, health minister Dr Deepak Sawant said 18 patients across the state, infected with the H1N1 virus, are fighting for life and are on the ventilator.
Doctors also said the effects of the vaccine could be wearing off, causing an increase in cases this year.
“Vaccinations do not work after six to seven months of taking them. The high-risk groups ideally must take vaccinations against viral infections at least once a year,” Dr Om Srivastava, a city-based infectious disease specialist, had told HT.
“Symptoms of swine flu may overlap with other viral infections. People must visit a health facility for correct diagnosis,” he said.