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Don’t ignore fever, stomach ache: Swine flu claims 230 lives in Maharashtra this year

Mumbai city news: Last year, the virus had claimed 26 lives, and the statehad recorded 82 cases.

mumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2017 09:51 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Maharashtra,swine flu
Mumbai has recorded three swine flu deaths this year.(HT File)

A total of 230 swine flu, or H1N1, related deaths have been recorded in Maharashtra this year, making it a pressing public health concern for state officials.

Last year, the virus had claimed 26 lives, and the statehad recorded 82 cases.

Most cases have been recorded at Pune, Nashik, Ahmednagar and Aurangabad. Mumbai has recorded three deaths this year.

A state official said that a lot of cases are being diagnosed late, as the symptoms overlap with common cold.

“A lot of people come in with complaints of fever, stomach ache, cold and cough, but are later diagnosed with swine flu,” said the official.

The state health department has intensified the screening and surveillance for all viral infections. They are vaccinating high-risk groups such as pregnant women, the elderly, diabetics and children.

Dr Pradip Awate, state surveillance officer, said that 29,542 people across the state have being vaccinated to prevent the spread of the infection.

He added that this year, a different strain of the H1N1 virus is predominant, which has led to an increase in the transmission.

“Last year the California strain was predominantly circulating. This year, it’s the Michigan strain of the virus that is circulating in India, according to the National Institute of Virology (NIV),” he said. Both are subgroups of the H1N1 strain.

“People may not have developed immunity for this strain, which is why the transmission is rapid,” he said.

Meanwhile doctors said that the effects of the vaccine could be wearing off, causing the increase in cases this year.

“Vaccinations do not work after six to seven months of taking them. The high risk groups ideally must take vaccinations against viral infections at least once a year,” Dr Om Srivastava, a city-based infectious disease specialist had told HT.

“People must avoid self- medication and go visit the doctor if the fever lasts over four days,” he added.

First Published: Jun 06, 2017 10:51 IST