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Swine flu unlikely to register a spike this year; Health authorities take necessary precautions

Dr Anjali Sabne, assistant health officer, PMC, had said in an earlier interview, “It has been observed that H1N1 virus is more active during alternate years. Hence, last year there were fewer cases of swine flu and the number of deaths were also much less.”

pune Updated: Aug 22, 2018 16:39 IST
Nozia Sayyed
Nozia Sayyed
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,swine,flu
While two deaths due to influenza A H1N1 have been reported in the city, currently, there are seven patients on ventilator support.(HT FILE PHOTO)

As against 655 people testing positive for influenza A H1N1 virus and 108 succumbing to the illness in 2017, this year, only 31 people reported positive for the virus since January, according to a report by the Pune municipal corporation’s (PMC) health department.

Health authorities, however, are taking necessary precautions in view of weather conditions becoming favourable for the virus, Dr Shashikant Jadhav, joint director health services, said in an interview.

While two deaths due to influenza A H1N1 have been reported in the city, currently, there are seven patients on ventilator support.

Last week, the state health department officials met to take a review of the preparedness for the virus and to ensure that the situation remains under control.

In the meeting, which was called by the state health minister Dr Deepak Sawant, the experts stressed on maintaining ‘no panic mode’.

Dr Sanjeev Kamble, director of the state health department, said, “Compared to last year the number of cases are extremely minimal and the mortality too has decreased. In fact, in the meeting held by the minister where all the district health officers and corporation medical officers were called, it was observed that the critical cases or the number of patients on ventilator too are low.”

Dr Kamble said the stock for the treatment of influenza A H1N1 was in need of replenishment. “Tamiflu, which is given to patients suffering from influenza A H1N1, is extremely important and we are running out of stock. We have only a few days ago appealed to the central health ministry to send us the required amount of tamiflu tablets.”

All the medical officers of the districts have been instructed to purchase tamiflu from their own budget till the Centre sends the sufficient stock, Dr Kamble said.

As per the report, in all 5.56 lakh people have been screened for the virus and around 5,318 were given tamiflu till Tuesday, he said.

Swine flu active in alternate years

Dr Anjali Sabne, assistant health officer, PMC, had said in an earlier interview, “It has been observed that H1N1 virus is more active during alternate years. Hence, last year there were fewer cases of swine flu and the number of deaths were also much less.”

Deaths due to swine flu reported in the city in 2015 stood at 153, while 10 died in 2016. There were 108 deaths due to swine flu in 2017.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 16:38 IST