Officials said viral infections have claimed nearly 2,500 lives in the state, most as a result of dengue and malaria.
Mumbai: At a time when viruses like the H1N1 (swine flu), malaria, influenza and dengue are on the rise, the government is lacking the tools to combat the same and is yet to design a vaccination plan to fight them.
Health officials have also said that there is no proper awareness campaign in place either to educate people about the spread and effect of these deadly viruses, which is on the rise in the city due to temperature fluctuations brought by intermittent rainfall.
On the other hand, doctors have said that they are getting a steady stream of patients, most of who are complaining of fever, cough, sore throat and body aches. If this wasn’t worse, cases of diarrhoea and cough lasting beyond three weeks are becoming common in the city.
A senior officer from Directorate of Health Services said, “The combat tools are limited. Vector borne diseases provide a limited window to treat in-patient suffering from TB, AIDS and detected with malaria and dengue. Yet, we have not come up with a suitable vaccination plan.”
Officials said viral infections have claimed nearly 2,500 lives in the state, most as a result of dengue and malaria. Viral infections are now proliferating to tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS in the state’s list of top contagious killer diseases, they added.
TB and AIDS record more than 10,000 deaths in the state annually. Over the past week, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has reported more than 1,000 cases of fever, and numbers are bound to increase if temperatures fall.
Talking to The Asian Age, Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC, said, “Seasonal fluctuation in temperature lead to rise in several vector-borne diseases. Spread of swine flu is also on the rise. We have issued an advisory and memorandum to civic-run hospitals to be alert on swine flu cases and treat them as priority.”
As per civic reports, three people have succumbed to H1N1 virus, taking swine flu death toll to 16 this year in the city. Of these, ten patients were city residents and the others had come to the city for treatment. The city has recorded 285 H1N1 cases till date this year, while cases in the State touched the numbers to around 2,500 cases and more than 250 deaths.