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Three suspected influenza A deaths in state

Mar 19, 2023 01:55 AM IST

The state epidemiology in-charge said the death committee will review the reason before categorising the death under swine flu, H3N2 or none.

The state reported three suspected deaths due to influenza A in Washim, Pune and Khadki on Saturday, according to the state health department.

The state has recorded one confirmed H3N2 death of a 23-year-old MBBS student in Ahmednagar on March 13.

The state epidemiology in-charge said the death committee will review the reason before categorising the death under swine flu, H3N2 or none. As per the health department, the state has reported 184 H3N2 and 405 H1N1 cases so far.

Dr Babita Kamlapurkar, state epidemiology in-charge, said, “The death committee will analyse the deaths and see whether it was a H3N2 or H1N1 death or some other virus or health issue-related death.”

Also read | H3N2 seasonal influenza cases surge: Which states are reporting infections?

The state has recorded one confirmed H3N2 death of a 23-year-old MBBS student in Ahmednagar on March 13.

State health minister Tanaji Sawant in the assembly on March 15 said most of the influenza cases were being reported in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Sangli, Kolhapur and Aurangabad.

Chief minister Eknath Shinde also held a review meeting with the health minister and directed the state health department to start a survey to trace patients that are positive to H3N2, a subtype of Influenza A virus. He also directed them to trace their contacts to curb transmission of the disease and appealed to the infected persons to wear masks and avoid public places.

The health department official said those symptomatic to influenza will be tested for H3N2 and will be isolated if found positive.

Meanwhile, Mumbai reported a jump in Covid-19 with 71 new cases on Saturday when compared to 35-36 in the last two days. It was on November 6, 2022 that the city had recorded daily new cases above 60 (67 cases).

However, 65 (92%) of the Saturday’s new cases were asymptomatic. The city now has 246 active cases.

A senior Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) health official said with the rise in H3N2 cases, they are conducting house-to-house surveys to find fever cases. “We have found that most of the Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic. There is nothing to panic about,” the official added.

Moreover, doctors said higher age and multiple comorbidities always increase symptoms and delay recovery.

“Good hydration, wearing a mask whenever outdoors, especially in crowded places, following hand hygiene and cough hygiene can protect you from H3N2 and other infections like H1N1, Covid-19 too,” said Dr Neeraj Tulara, infectious disease expert, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai.

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