The H1N1 infection that was responsible for several deaths in Pune is now affecting Mumbai, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recording 177 cases as opposed to zero cases of H1N1 infection in 2016 during this period. The viral infection has led to three deaths in the last fortnight. The BMC has issued a notification asking people to immediately consult a doctor in case of infection, keep patients with symptoms in isolation at home and follow basic etiquette of covering mouth while sneezing to control infection spread.
Since June 1, three senior citizens succumbed to the infectious disease in the western suburbs. According to civic officials, one was 74-year-old Parkinson’s patient from Jogeshwari who had been suffering from fever and cough for a week. His family first admitted him to a private hospital and later shifted him to a BMC hospital on June 10. He passed away Tuesday due to acute respiratory syndrome and H1N1 infection, doctors said.
The second casualty was a 75-year-old Andheri West resident who suffered from uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension and heart ailment that worsened his condition. “He was admitted to a private hospital and then transferred to MCGM hospital on June 7,” said a civic official. The man succumbed to respiratory distress Tuesday. A survey done by the BMC showed maximum cases were concentrated in a few wards around Andheri, Parel, Byculla, Govandi and Mulund West, though no specific cause has been attributed to the spread in these wards.
The third death was also reported from Andheri, from Gundavali Hill. A 63-year-old man passed away on June 7. According to his family, he had travelled to Devgad and Sindhudurg region and fallen ill shortly after returning home. He was admitted to a civic hospital on June 4 and put on Tamiflu treatment two days later. He passed away a day after initiation of treatment. According to Dr Minni Khetarpal, Deputy Executive Health Officer, BMC, a survey was carried out in the neighbourhoods of all deceased patients.
“We covered 1,680 houses and a population of 8,246 people. Since January 1, 690 pregnant women have been vaccinated against H1N1 as precaution,” she said in a statement. Healthcare workers, pregnant women and those with diabetes and hypertension fall in the high risk category of catching this infection. Maharashtra has already recorded 1,315 H1N1 cases this year, with 240 deaths. In 2015, Mumbai recorded 3,029 H1N1 cases and 52 deaths. The epidemic slowed down in 2016 with only 3 cases and no deaths. According to doctors, the virus seems to have become virulent this year, finding better conditions to thrive. “This season is most favourable for the virus to multiply,” said State Epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate.
Of the 177 patients admitted in Mumbai hospitals for H1N1 treatment, 34 were from outside Mumbai.