Deaths due to swine flu have touched 230 in Maharashtra this year, an almost nine-fold increase to 26 deaths reported during entire 2016, indicating more virulent nature of the infecting virus in the state. According to state epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate, the viral infection is less dominant in Konkan region and coastal areas including Mumbai, while it has shown greater incidence in Pune urban and rural regions.
Pune has recorded the highest deaths at 60 followed by Nashik with 31 deaths so far in 2017. In Mumbai, four deaths of residents have been reported while three others from outside the city died in the city’s civic hospital during treatment. State officials said the cases were expected to decline with the advent of monsoon. In June first week, cases recorded from across Maharashtra have dipped in comparison to May last week.
Across the state, 1,202 cases of H1N1 influenza have been noted. The cases escalated from the month of March, spreading faster during summers. According to Awate, the climate in Pune has allowed virus to thrive and multiply. “We are seeing cases on a day to day basis. While there are few that are turning severe, most cases are manageable,” said Dr Vatsal Kothari, infectious diseases expert at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai.
He added that H1N1 infection showed the same classic symptoms and progress in the body like it displayed in previous years. A person with H1N1 infection suffers from breathlessness, fever and chills on the onset. Delay in treatment can turn fatal with patients often contracting pneumonia infection.