Maharashtra: Swine flu cases spike 162% in 12 August days compared to tally in January-July

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has already directed public health officers to take adequate measures to contain the infection and prevent further spread.

Maharashtra: Swine flu cases spike 162% in 12 August days compared to tally in January-July
Caused by the H1N1 virus, swine flu is an infectious disease. (IE)

Maharashtra has reported almost 900 new swine flu cases and 23 fatalities in the first 12 days of August — an almost 162% increase over the total cases and toll, 552 and 20, respectively, since the beginning of the year till July 31.

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The massive surge this month has taken Maharashtra’s total swine flu cases and deaths to 1,449 and 43, respectively, with Kolhapur, Pune, and Nashik recording the most fatalities. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has already directed public health officers to take adequate measures to contain the infection and prevent further spread.

Pune Municipal Corporation areas detected 361 swine flu patients, of which 11 succumbed to the infection — the highest toll in the state. Kolhapur recorded nine deaths from 102 cases. Six patients have died in Nashik from 127 identified patients.

In 2020, Maharashtra witnessed 129 swine flu cases and three deaths. The figure surged to 387 in 2021, but deaths dropped to two.

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Caused by the H1N1 virus, swine flu is an infectious disease. The virus spreads through air. Influenza viruses such as H1N1 infect nose, lungs, and throat cells, entering the body when inhaling contaminated droplets. The virus can also be transmitted from a contaminated surface to the nose, eyes, or mouth.

Dr Tushar Rane, an internal medicine expert at Apollo Spectra Hospital, told The Indian Express that swine flu symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, stomach ache, headache, vomiting, and nausea.

The complications can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis, or bacterial pneumonia.

Dr Rane said it was necessary to take care of patients with co-morbidities such as heart disease and diabetes.

A public health official told The Indian Express that the government had screened over 10 lakh patients as of August 12. Nearly 8,000 suspected patients were treated with Oseltamivir, a drug recommended for both prophylaxis and treatment of influenza.

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Maharashtra is also contending with Covid-19 cases, reporting 836 new cases and two deaths on Tuesday, Health Department data showed. On Monday, it had recorded 1,189 cases and one fatality.

The state’s overall Covid-19 tally is at 8,074,365 and the death toll has risen to 148,174.

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