With 20 new cases on Thursday, the number of swine flu patients in Mumbai touched 1,516, surpassing the 2009 figure when the infection was first reported. In 2009, 1,497 cases of swine flu and 30 deaths were recorded in the city, and the WHO had declared it a pandemic.
Two more patients, including a seven-year-old, succumbed to the disease. The child from Andheri was suffering from an autoimmune disorder and was on steroids. The second victim, a 48-year-old man from Alibaug who was being treated at the Saifee Hospital in Charni Road, died on Wednesday.
“We have already called it an outbreak of the H1N1 virus. However, the number of cases is on the decline, as the weather is getting warmer. In the coming week, the numbers may drop further,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, chief of epidemiology, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
The number of swine flu cases in the state has reached 4,340, with 375 deaths.
Experts, however, said it is likely that the number of cases could be higher than those reported.
“At times, we do not test all members of a family, even if there is a positive case. If others show the symptoms, we treat them empirically. There is no need to test every patient showing symptoms, if correct treatment is started in time,” said Dr Vasant Nagvekar, infectious disease expert, Lilavati Hospital.