Mumbai has been hit by a surge in swine flu (H1N1) cases, with 377 cases reported in the city from January to June this year which is 53% of the total cases recorded in Maharashtra. As per the data, Maharashtra has reported 712 cases of H1N1 since January, and three deaths have been reported so far in the state, but none in Mumbai.
8% rise in cases in Mumbai in 2023
Compared to the 346 swine flu cases recorded the previous year in the city, there has been an 8% increase in cases this year within six months. However, senior infectious disease experts from the state health department said the numbers are not worrisome as it is not an epidemic outbreak and blamed the poor air quality for the high number of cases.
According to senior health officials from civic-run hospitals, there are currently 10 to 15 swine flu patients with high-grade fever and exhaustion being the most common symptom. Some patients have required respiratory support, including ventilation, and have been admitted to the ICU. Elderly people with comorbidities are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms.
“There is a surge in swine flu cases and other mosquito-borne diseases, but the severity of and the involvement of upper respiratory infections with malaise help us accurately diagnose and treat the illness. Due to the presence of multiple influenza strains, a different strain emerges as the dominant one each year. It is important to take into account these changes in strain types and subtypes when developing vaccines to ensure maximum efficacy,” said a senior health official. However, the influenza virus has remained highly infectious since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
Patients with serious symptoms treated with anti-flu doses
Recently, doctors at Bhatia Hospital in Mumbai treated two patients with swine flu, a 42-year-old man and a 70-year-old diabetic woman, who complained of high-grade fever, severe body pain, running nose, pain in the throat, cough with expectoration, and breathlessness. After 48 hours, both patients developed mild crackles in the chest and swine flu pneumonia, which was detected on the upper respiratory tract through a Biofire test. They were administered Tamiflu or anti-flu dose twice a day and showed improvement, informed Dr Samrat Shah, consultant internist at Bhatia Hospital.
Details of Swine flu disease: Causes, symptoms and cure
Swine flu is an infectious disease caused by the H1N1 virus, which spreads through the air and infects the cells in the nose, throat, and lungs. The virus can be transmitted through contaminated droplets or surfaces and can be caused by both humans and animals.
“Symptoms of swine flu include chills, fever, sore throat, body aches, headache, stomach ache, nausea, and frequent vomiting. The complications of it can be pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia, or bronchitis. In view of the increasing number of patients, it is necessary to take special care of patients with comorbidities such as diabetes and heart disease. If the fever lasts longer, consult a specialist on an immediate basis,” said an expert.