Maharashtra has recorded a jump in the number of swine flu cases over the last few days, raising concerns across the state, the state health department has said. Maharashtra recorded 142 cases and seven deaths till July 21, 2022. Out of these seven deaths, three were reported from Kolhapur, while two each were reported from Thane and Pune.
Similarly, while Mumbai has reported 43, a total of 23 cases were reported from Pune and 22 from Palghar. Apart from these, Nashik has reported 17, Kolhapur and Nagpur each reported 14 cases, while Thane reported seven cases.
Speaking to IE, Dr Pradeep Awate, a state surveillance officer said that the health department in Maharashtra is taking steps to increase surveillance, even as prevention and control measures are also being implemented. According to Dr Sanjay Pujari, a member of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Covid task force, an increase in swine flu cases has been observed in the state.
“If a patient is admitted to hospital with viral pneumonia, the commonest cause could be Covid or H1N1 virus. We are seeing a higher proportion of H1N1 cases,” the IE quoted him as saying. Explaining further, Dr Pujari said that while the rise in swine flu cases is mostly observed in the northern part of the country during winters, more cases are reported from the south during the monsoon. He added that high-risk people must get themselves vaccinated two-three months before the influenza season.
Seconding his views, Dr Rajesh Karyakarte, Maharashtra’s genome sequencing in charge, pointed out that the quadrivalent influenza vaccine was designed for the protection against four types of influenza viruses, which include two A viruses and two B viruses.
According to various experts across the states, those with medical conditions who are at risk must be vaccinated on priority. Apart from lung, dengue, and hand, foot, and mouth disease, children are also being detected with increasing cases of swine flu this season, said Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director at the Bharati Hospital.