BMC issues advisory as swine flu cases rise

Updated on Jul 27, 2022 12:47 AM IST

Seeing the spike in cases in July, BMC has issued an advisory for citizens including following hand and cough hygiene and avoiding crowded places

She further added that one should avoid self-medication and consult a nearby BMC health post/dispensary/hospital for treatment if there is a history of high fever, difficulty in breathing, or blue colour skin or lips (HT File)
She further added that one should avoid self-medication and consult a nearby BMC health post/dispensary/hospital for treatment if there is a history of high fever, difficulty in breathing, or blue colour skin or lips (HT File)

Mumbai Mumbai saw a spurt of swine flu cases from only two in June to 62 laboratory-confirmed cases in the last 24 days, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). In the years 2020 and 2021, the city saw 44 and 64 swine flu cases respectively.

Seeing the spike in cases in July, BMC has issued an advisory for citizens including following hand and cough hygiene and avoiding crowded places.

“Like Covid, swine flu is a communicable disease. Luckily, it is less infectious and transmissible. Basic hygiene like covering your nose while sneezing, coughing with a handkerchief or tissue, avoiding touching eyes, nose, mouth etc should be followed for precaution,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer, BMC.

She further added that one should avoid self-medication and consult a nearby BMC health post/dispensary/hospital for treatment if there is a history of high fever, difficulty in breathing, or blue colour of skin or lips. “Treatment should not be delayed because it leads to complications and risk of death. People with co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes, pregnant women and senior citizens should be more careful,” she said.

Dr Pradip Awate, epidemiologist and state surveillance officer, said swine flu cases usually rise during monsoon. “In the last two years, Covid was the dominant infectious disease. It is a competition between viruses (microorganisms). While Covid is now receding with communities at large developing immunity, we are seeing swine flu becomes more active. The rise is seen in Thane, Kolhapur and other areas,” he said.

Dr Kishore Sathe, emergency medicine specialist, PD Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre, said that while there is an upward trend of swine flu cases, the majority are mild and do not require hospitalisation.

“We are definitely seeing a sharp rise in H1N1 cases during the last 15 days. The majority of cases are with mild symptoms of sore throat and cough. Only senior citizens with multiple co-morbidities are requiring hospitalisation including ICU. Fortunately, we have got drugs to treat the infection and it is easy to contain the spread,” he said.

Dr Neeraj Tulara, an infectious disease specialist at LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, who is seeing 10-15 suspected cases every day out of which around five are positive, said, “Most have increased recently due to sudden changes in weather. We have around 2-3 cases admitted in the normal ward and 1-2 in ICU. But I don’t see many getting admitted so far.”

Dr Samir Garde, senior consultant, pulmonology, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, said that almost all individuals with swine flu infection are recovering within 48 hours of the medication. “Only a minuscule fraction of them, with co-morbidities, require hospitalisation and aggressive treatment. The period of hospitalisation is subjective and varies depending on their underlying condition and response to medication,” he explained.

Dr Garde added that since the 2015 swine flu outbreak, clinicians on the ground have been treating a similar number of swine flu cases during monsoon and the statistical trend is not alarming.

“People shouldn’t panic and upon the onset of symptoms such as chills, fever, sore throat, or runny water, seek active medical care for immediate treatment. The attention is now back on these other viral infections which were otherwise biased towards only Covid-19,” said Dr. Garde.

Dr Vasant Nagvekar, infectious disease expert and state Covid-19 task force member, said Swine flu is endemic and there will be a spike in cases intermittently. “We need more awareness on swine flu as the cases are on the rise. Classic symptom of Swine flu is high fever- 103 to 104. We expect the cases to dip in 2-4 weeks,” he said.

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