In the last 24 hours, the Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR) reported three swine flu deaths, said state health official. While two of the deaths have been reported in Mumbai, one is from Thane and another from Ahmednagar.
Dr M Diggikar, Joint Director of Health Services, Pune, said, “Four people succumb to swine flu today. The two deaths are from Mumbai, one is from Thane and one from Ahmednagar. Pune district tops in number of swine flu related deaths, flowed by Nashik, Nagpur and Aurangabad.”
He emphasised that early diagnosis and quick treatment is the only solution as the state has been witnessing high number of swine flu cases this year.
Pune district has reported highest number of death toll due to swine flu from January 1 to July 20 this year. As many as 70 death cases are reported in Pune district, which includes Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, and Pune rural region, reveals a report by state health department.
Pune is followed by Nashik, which has 34 cases died of swine flu, followed by Nagpur with 24, Aurangabad with 23 and Thane and Ahmednagar with 20 cases. Mumbai has 15 death cases died of swine flu, while Navi Mumbai has three death cases.
Last month, a team of four from National Centre for Communicable Disease Control was in the state to study the reasons behind the swine flu deaths in the state and suggest guidelines. This year, Swine flu has been a cause of concern in Maharashtra in areas like Pune, Nashik, Solapur and Aurangabad.
Experts have observed a new strain called the Michigan strain in terms of swine flu and has predicted that the rising number of swine flu patients could be because of the new strain.
“During our review meetings, we agreed the need to spread awareness on vaccination. People falling under high risk category because of diabetes, hypertension, pregnant women, senior citizen, people whose immunity is compromised, should get the influenza vaccine shot,” said Dr Subhash Salunke, chairman of the state health department’s communicable disease committee.
He said so far, since the 2009 swine flu pandemic in the country, the California strain has been doing the rounds. But, now a new strain has been identified in the country. “A new strain called the Michigan strain has been isolated in the state. That’s why we are seeing more people falling prey to it. The new vaccination should help in protecting the people in high risk group. Also we want general physicians to identify swine flu symptoms at the earliest and begin the treatment,” said Dr Salunke.