City doctors urge Mumbaiites to exercise caution and not ignore symptoms of cold and fever, as these could be signs of respiratory ailments like H1N1.
Though Mumbai has reported fewer H1N1 cases (37) this year, the state has reported close to 425 swine flu cases between January and July with 97 deaths.
Doctors fear a sudden rise in upper and lower respiratory ailments including H1N1. “People with pre-existing ailments such as diabetes and hypertension are always at higher risk. A city like Mumbai, where overcrowding is combined with environmental factors, can easily see a sudden rise in cases,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, director of infectious disease department at Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road. “In people with pre-existing aliments, treatment needs to be more aggressive. With the amount of rain and humidity in the city, respiratory irritations are common which further leads to
infections,” he added.
Last year, according to the union ministry of health, Maharashtra had reported the highest number of H1N1 cases (1,551) and deaths (135).
Meanwhile, a nine-month pregnant woman has been admitted to the civic run Kasturba Hospital at Chinchpokli with H1N1 infection. Pinky Verma, 24, a resident of Navi Mumbai, was initially admitted to a private hospital where the doctors suspected her of suffering from H1N1, and was later shifted to Kasturba Hospital.
A senior state health official said, “This year we are witnessing more H1N1 cases in Kolhapur, Pune and Nashik. Pregnant women and elderly with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are at higher risk of contracting swine flu.”
“With temperature variations, there might be a sudden rise in upper and respiratory tract infections,” said, Dr Sharat Kolke, physician Kohinoor Hospital, Kurla. Another senior doctor said, “The presence of confirmed H1N1 cases indicates that the virus is in circulation and more patients might also take ill.”