A 32-year old Juhu resident and a 32-year-old woman from Worli are the latest fatalities of swine flu in Mumbai. After these deaths, the toll from H1N1 infection has risen to 25 this year-the highest since 2011. What is even worrying is the sudden spurt of cases and deaths in the past two weeks with four H1N1 related deaths already reported in July.
Both the deceased, civic officials said, died within just four days of hospitalisation. The Juhu woman was admitted to Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central while the Worli resident died at Global Hospital, Parel, according to the civic epidemiology cell.
Last year in July there were hardly any H1N1 cases in the city. This year, however the virus is in circulation in the city, with 1,887 cases reported since January.
“Any change in the temperature and humidity is favourable for the transmission of the H1N1 virus. We will continue to see cases for the next few months so citizens should be cautious of any flu like symptoms,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, infectious disease specialist.
If timely treatment is dispensed, deaths owing to swine flu infection can be completely avoided, said doctors.
“People should avoid self-medication and vaccination is recommended to those in high risk groups,” said a doctor from a public hospital. Pregnant woman, elderly, children, people with compromised immunity are at higher risk of contracting the infection.
The state health department has planned to vaccinate pregnant women against the H1N1 infection in the state to reduce mortality as a result of the infection. As swine flu medications work best if administered within 72 hours of contracting the infection, experts suggested that doctors should start treatment immediately instead of waiting for laboratory confirmation. Most laboratories take at least 48 hours to give results of a swine flu test.
Helpline for swine flu: 24114000