The first fortnight of July has witnessed five deaths due to H1N1 infection, taking the toll in the city to 22 this year. This month, 250 cases of swine flu have been reported, taking the number of affected people to 874 in the city this year. The figures are close to that of Pune where, around 70 deaths and 500 other cases have been reported since the beginning of 2017.
With the onset of monsoons, Mumbai has also witnessed two leptospirosis deaths. Of the 22 patients who died of swine flu this month, 14 were Mumbai residents and eight were from outside the city. This month, at least 202 people from outside Mumbai have come to the city to undergo treatment at government hospitals after getting initial treatment at private hospitals.
According to the civic health department, all those who died of H1NI this month were over 40 years of age. Of them, three were women and one was a four-year-old boy from Mankhurd who died after being taken to two private doctors before his family admitted him to the civic hospital. A 65-year-old woman from Parel, who was first treated at a private hospital and later shifted to the BMC Hospital in an unconscious state, succumbed to septic shock with acute respiratory distress syndrome, doctors claimed. She had been suffering from hypertension.
Another victim, a 45-year-old Goregaon resident, succumbed to similar symptoms. She was taken to a government hospital after being treated at a private facility. Doctors said she had been suffering from hypothyroidism, which further complicated her condition. “We have noticed that in four out of five cases, there has been a time lapse before Oseltamivir treatment was commenced,” said Dr Minni Khetarpal, the deputy executive health officer at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Four of the deceased had an ailment that compromised their immunity to the H1N1 virus, Khetarpal added.
A 41-year-old Borivali resident who had hypothyroidism was initially admitted to a private hospital from where she took discharge against medical advice and later got admitted in BMC hospital. She succumbed to multi-organ failure because of pneumonia. Guidelines issued by the BMC on the lines of the national health ministry have urged people to get themselves tested for H1N1 infection if they have symptoms like fever, breathlessness, and chills.
This month, the BMC has screened 9,760 people in slums and societies and of them, 18 with fever and other symptoms have been treated. A vegetable vendor in Kanjurmarg suffered from leptospirosis after wading through water-logged roads. According to civic officials, he was an alcoholic and delayed the treatment despite having fever for four days. He succumbed to multi-organ dysfunction and leptospirosis.
In July, 23 cases of leptospirosis have been recorded by the BMC health department. Last year, 76 cases and three deaths had been reported. The second leptospirosis victim is a 30-year-old Matunga resident who worked as an electrician. He had also waded through water and later complained of muscle pain, vomiting, and fever. His treatment was delayed by three days, which worsened his condition, doctors said. He succumbed to multi-organ dysfunction and leptospirosis.
This month, the BMC has screened over 4,850 for leptospirosis infection. In an advisory, the civic body has alerted people asking them to avoid water-logged areas where they may come in contact with animal urine or infected blood. “The highest at risk are agriculture workers, vegetable vendors and those who handle animals,” Khetarpal added in an official statement.