Maharashtra swine flu death toll touches 290

With the galloping pace of the swine flu virus claiming 290 lives in Maharashtra till Monday, the State is reeling under the onslaught of the most lethal swine flu outbreak in five years.

According to health authorities, the death toll in three months beginning January is the highest recorded so far, exceeding those that the State recorded during the 2009 flu pandemic, which commenced in Pune, during the same duration.

The numbers of those infected has risen exponentially, with more than 3,400 cases being recorded since the start of this year. 105 fresh cases were recorded across the State on Sunday itself with 11 people succumbing to the virus in 24 hours. The toll in Pune district has crossed 70, with an alarming surge in swine flu deaths in districts in the Marathwada region.

Over 70 per cent of the deaths were recorded in urban areas, informed Kanchan Jagtap, the State Joint Director of Health Services, informing that surveillance mechanism had been strengthened in rural areas.

At present, more than 440 persons are undergoing treatment at hospitals across the State.

Despite the gravity of the situation, airport authorities said that no facility for screening against the H1N1 virus had been set up for domestic and international passengers at Pune’s Lohegaon airport with the State Health Department proving surprisingly tardy in issuing instructions.

“Unlike Ebola, H1N1 has now entered an endemic stage and is no longer a foreign disease which technically obviates the need for screening passengers flying in. However, if the need arises, we can set up a screening facility at the airport,” said Dr. Jagtap.

Food and Drug Administration sources said that two other batches of NasoVac – the intra-nasal swine flu vaccine indigenously developed by the Serum Institute - was available in the market with around 2,200 doses for Pune.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 5:57:30 AM |

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