While the civic authorities and people continue to be wary of swine flu and malaria, it is seasonal flu that is sending more people to doctors.
Doctors have witnessed a surge in seasonal flu cases owing to the drop in temperature since the onset of the monsoon.
"I see about three to four cases of flu every day as compared to one or two of malaria," said Dr Kushrav Bajan, intensive care physician at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mahim.
He added that 95 per cent of patients who report with flu-like symptoms suffer from seasonal flu and the rest have swine flu. "Even among the 5 per cent H1N1 cases, only 5 per cent need to be admitted to hospital because of pneumonia or other complications," added Dr Bajan.
The rise in seasonal flu cases is confirmed by the reports of throat swab samples tested at Haffkine Research Institute in Parel, which celebrated its 111th foundation day on Tuesday.
Of the 600 samples tested at Haffkine in the past two months, nearly as many were positive for seasonal flu as swine flu.
"Around 25 per cent tested positive for swine flu and 22 per cent for seasonal flu," said Haffkine director Dr Abhay Choudhary. While 10 per cent of the seasonal flu cases were of Influenza A, 12 per cent were of Influenza B.
The fact that there the Influenza B virus strain is more in circulation than Influenza A, is good news as the former does not cause serious complications.
Both Influenza A and B cause fever, cold, sore throat, cough, headache and sometimes diarrhoea. "One can easily recover from flu with rest, fluids and some symptomatic treatment," said Dr Hemant Thacker, consultant physician at Jaslok and Bhatia Hospitals.