There has been a 2.4-fold rise in the number of swine flu cases reported across Maharashtra in 2022(until July 31) compared to the year 2021. As per the state's statistics, 552 H1N1 cases were reported in the first seven months (January 1 to July 31), which means 78 cases per month compared to 387 cases reported during the same period in 2021, which means 32 cases per month. Moreover, the number of deaths due to swine flu also increased from two deaths in 2021 compared to 20 deaths that occurred in seven months this year.
Health officials said the majority of swine flu cases are from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, Nagpur, and Palghar, and they are closely monitoring the situation in all districts. Also, the total deaths due to cholera stood at 7 with 300 cases.
According to the data, 142 swine flu cases (Influenza A) are from Mumbai, followed by Thane Municipal Corporation (82), Kolhapur (54), Nashik (41), Palghar (36), Kalyan Municipal Corporation (23), Navi Mumbai (12), Mira-Bhayander(5), Thane District (4), Raigad (4), Pune (3), Pimpri Chinchwad (3) and Vasai-Virar (2).
Dr Trupti Gilada, Infectious Disease specialist, Masina Hospital, said every few years there is a slow change in the structure of the virus, which is called antigen drift. Sometimes, the structure changes drastically, causing an antigen shift.
“The drifts are responsible for an epidemic of influenza every 2-4 years where either there are a large number of cases or comparatively severe symptoms." This is because the population is not immune to the newer antigens, thus making them susceptible to the new strain,” she said.
Of the 20 swine flu deaths that occurred, three of them were from Kolhapur, Thane Municipal Corporation, Pune Rural, Pune Municipal Corporation, two each from Satara, Pimpri Chinchwad and one each from Thane Rural, Raigad Municipal Corporation, and Nashik.
Swine flu infection, or H1N1 influenza, is primarily found in pigs. The symptoms include fever, lethargy, sneezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing and a decreased appetite.
Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said, “We are closely monitoring the situation in all districts." We have enhanced surveillance and prevention and control measures are being implemented.”
A senior health official from the state health department said the influenza season is quite variable in the country. The rise in cases in the northern region usually happens during winter, and in the southern part of the country, it happens during the monsoon.
“So high-risk people should get vaccinated against H1N1 at least two three months prior to the season, a higher proportion of H1N1 patients having been observed. If a patient is admitted to the hospital with viral pneumonia, the commonest cause could be Covid or H1N1 virus. We are seeing a higher proportion of H1N1 cases,” he said.
The swine flu cases (Influenza A) are from
Thane Municipal Corporation (82),
Kalyan Municipal Corporation (23),
Navi Mumbai (12),
Thane District (4),
Pimpri Chinchwad (3)
SWINE FLU DEATH
Pune Municipal Corporation – 8
Thane Municipal Corporation- 3
Pimpri Chinchwad- 2
Thane District- 1
Raigad District- 1