BMC failed to tackle Swine Flu

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Swine-Flu-leadSwine flu has made a comeback in Mumbai as already five deaths have been reported in the city and 28 across the state. The 58 year old man became the latest victim of the disease at the Kasturba Hospital. Around 158 people have contracted the infection in the state, while the city has over 31 people recuperating in different hospitals. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s health department four of the five new swine flu cases reported on Saturday are on ventilator.

Three patients were admitted to the Kasturba Gandhi Hospital after a test confirmed the infection. Of the admitted, a 37-year-old woman reportedly contracted the infection from a deceased 60-year-old with whom she had been admitted to in another hospital.

“We have stocked tamiflu as per the requirements and every district hospital has been given an isolated unit. Every patient with swine flu-like symptoms is being put under the necessary tests,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, state epidemologist.

With most of the swine flu cases getting admitted in private hospitals, BMC has already sent them directives on H1N1 treatment. “We have informed hospitals that in case they get a patient with swine flu symptoms, they should start the treatment immediately. Swine flu test is secondary when it comes to treatment and doctors shouldn’t wait for the tests,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, the epidemiology department in-charge in BMC.

Mumbai ranks fifth in fatalities according to the public health official. Nagpur has recorded maximum number of swine flu patients followed by Pune. Some 158 people have contracted the disease in the state while 34 have died of it.

There has been a surge in the number of swine flu deaths across the country. The nation has witnessed 215 deaths till February 5 as compared to 238 deaths in 2014. The maximum number of deaths has been reported in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Telangana. The central government is monitoring the situation and is coordinating with states to overcome swine flu related cases.

Delay in seeking treatment is also a cause for several deaths. Often patients go to doctors only after developing breathlessness and after their condition has worsened.

Swine flu symptoms and prevention:- 

Swine flu or H1N1 flu symptoms are similar to most influenza infections. They can include – fever, cough, headache, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, diarrhoea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath. Small children may refuse to take feeds.

Here are a few tips that you can follow as suggested by health experts, if you suspect that you may have contracted the H1N1 virus:

  • Avoid contact with other people for a week after the symptoms develop or till the symptoms go away
  • Do not go to work or school
  • Do not travel
  • Make sure that you cover your coughs/sneezes using a tissue
  • Wash your hands often to avoid spreading the virus
  • Visit the nearest healthcare centre to access medical care if required
  • People at higher risk for complications of the flu should talk to their doctor immediately as soon as the symptoms arise
  • These include – children younger than five years of age, people 65 years and older, pregnant women and people of any age with certain medical conditions such as cancer, heart or lung disease, diabetes, and those with weakened immune system.

However, it is recommended that everyone should seek medical aid immediately regardless of whether or not you are in a high-risk group to avoid further complications.