As India reels under the blistering heat and parts of Maharashtra sizzling above 40 degrees Celsius, the change in weather pattern in March is a great cause of concern for Maharashtra government.
As per the health department data, 80 people have died due to swine flu and 353 cases have been reported from various hospitals across Maharashtra till March this year.
Doctors say wide fluctuation in temperatures in day and night offer favourable conditions for viruses to thrive and this has contributed to the rise in swine flu (H1N1) cases.
Meanwhile, Dr Deepak Sawant, Maharashtra Health Minister, said, “Swine flu cases are rising due to huge changes in the weather pattern in the state. We have seen a rise in number of cases in Pune. The department has given orders to Pune Municipal Commissioner regarding swine flu.”
Dr Sawant added, “We have set-up an infection control committee under the chairmanship of Dr Shubash Salunke and the state government is monitoring the situation day in, day out.”
Dr Pradip Awate, State Surveillance Officer, said Maharashtra has reported 353 swine flu cases between January and March 29.
At least 80 people have lost their lives due to swine flu.
“Most of these cases have been reported in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune and Nashik. Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad alone have seen 28 deaths in the last three months,” said Awate.
He said climatic change in the state is one of the major reasons behind rise in swine flu cases.
“This is the normal pattern of swine flu. Last year, we did not register so many swine flu cases. But, this year, the climatic changes have contributed to a rise in swine flu cases in this belt. With the difference in temperature now minimising, we are expecting swine flu cases to come down in next 10-15 days,” said Awate.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Laxman Gofane, Nodal Officer for swine flu at Pimpri-Chinchwad Corporation, said, “This year till March, we have nine deaths in Pimpri-Chinchwad so far. At least 62 cases were reported out of which only six patients are now admitted in hospitals.”