Sixteen more cases of swine flu (H1N1) cases were recorded in Mumbai on Friday. In the past two weeks, 73 people have tested positive for the H1N1 infection, of which two are on ventilator support.
Of the 16 cases, four are children from Goregaon, Mulund, Mumbai Central and Worli. “Two people from the same family are undergoing treatment. The regular travel between Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra is fuelling the transmission of the virus,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, physician, Breach Candy Hospital, adding Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) should be used rationally to avoid drug resistance.
This year, Maharashtra is among the six states that have recorded the highest number of swine fl u deaths. Since January, 352 cases of swine flu were recorded in the state, with 51 deaths. The state has asked doctors to screen patients for H1N1 infection, if they have symptoms such as running nose, sore throat, fever and fatigue.
Doctors said the current burden of H1N1 transmission could have been reduced if the population was vaccinated for influenza, as H1N1 is a type of influenza. “Children, senior citizens and pregnant women should be vaccinated, as they are at a higher risk. When the vaccine was introduced, very few people took it,” said Dr AK Prasad, chairman, Influenza Foundation of India.
The union health ministry has recommended influenza vaccinations for all health care workers. The civic body has ordered 100 doses of vaccination for all public hospitals. “We have already started vaccinating our staff,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, director, infectious diseases department, Jaslok hospital.