Pimpri Chinchwad health authorities on Tuesday said there was a significant increase in the number of swine flu patients in the Maharashtra town, with the number of H1N1 positive cases since January this year touching 102 on September 9, Hindustan Times reported. Six people have reportedly died of the flu in September alone, ANI reported.
Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by a strain of the H1N1 influenza. The strain originated in pigs, but is now a human disease that has symptoms that are similar to those of a seasonal flu. The symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and chills.
Those susceptible to the flu are pregnant women, children under five, the elderly and those with serious medical ailments.
Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation authorities said 52 people tested positive for the flu in the last 10 days, the newspaper reported. The latest report issued by the civic authority indicates that 14 of the 102 people that tested positive for swine flue had died.
In Pune, 62 people had tested positive for H1N1 until September.
Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation health chief Dr Anil Roy attributed the increase in cases to the wet weather conditions. “There has been marked rise in swine flu cases in the municipal corporation’s limits because of consistent wet condition which prevails in the city throughout the month,” Roy said. “We request people who are suffering from cough and cold to immediately visit their nearest doctor.”
Roy said the municipal corporation was equipped to deal with the situation.
In Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, 13 people have died of swine flu since January and four of these deaths have been in September alone, The Times of India reported. Maharashtra and Gujarat were the states worst affected by the swine flu outbreak across India last year.
Meanwhile, scientists at the National Institute of Virology in Pune have said that another strain of influenza called H3N2 is also circulating along with H1N1, resulting in more influenza-like illnesses being reported. However, many labs do not have the H3N2 test resulting in many cases possibly going undetected. The H3N2 virus also causes mild to moderately severe illness with symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat and weakness.