Pune remains most affected with 12 deaths since March

Two people succumbed to Swine Flu in Nashik earlier this week, taking the toll of swine flu victims in the State to 13 in this year. The H1N1 virus, which was till now restricted to Pune and Mumbai, has registered growth in other parts of Maharashtra with the cases in Nashik.

Pune, like the outbreak in 2009, remains the most affected, with 12 deaths since March. According to State Health department data, 250 people have tested positive in the city this year. Since then, all over Maharashtra, there have been more than 300 people affected, State health officials said. Three patients are on ventilator support in the city, and their condition remains critical.

Pradip Awate, State epidemiologist, Directorate of Health Services, said the rise in the number of number of people affected by the patients was due to the weather in the State. “The weather in Maharashtra is favourable for the growth of the virus. However, when the heat increases in the next two weeks, the cases will go down,” he said. The State has taken steps towards increasing preparedness to deal with the virus, with isolation wards in government and private hospitals; and the increase in the number of ventilators in Pune's Sasson hospital.

While there is no need to panic, symptoms of flu must be taken seriously, Dr. Awate said.

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