According to a state health department source, 60 per cent of swine –flu deaths were registered in the high risk category.
Mumbai: With swine flu claiming 418 lives in the state from January to August 17, health officials say the proliferation is due to late detection and lack of awareness and the people in high-risk groups are more vulnerable to the disease.
According to a state health department source, 60 per cent of swine –flu deaths were registered in the high risk category. Cool climate and virus mutation are also adding to the problem, said the source. Government officials say the increased numbers are because of the nature of the influenza virus, which undergoes an antigenic shift.
This is a common phenomenon by which the virus genes change over time as it replicates, creating virus strains that are similar but not identical.
A senior health officer from state health department said, “60 per cent of death registered due to swine flu is of high-risk group.
Such as senior citizens, children below 5 years, people with compromised immune systems (due to a disease such as AIDS and Tuberculosis, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, or neuromuscular disease.”
State health minister Dr. Deepak Sawant said, “Two weeks ago we chaired meetings with the Indian Medical Association to sensitise doctors and create awareness regarding anti-viral Oseltamivir/ Zanamivir medication to patients with early flu symptoms,” .
The state health department has ordered a state-wide house-to-house surveillance to ensure that fever cases are detected and treated early so that more lives can be saved.
Deaths In Numbers