Six cases of swine flu have been reported in the city in the month of February, and 79 across the state. While nine deaths have been recorded, doctors rubbish reports of a sudden upsurge in the number of swine flu cases in the city. Claiming that this is a usual feature, doctors blame the change in climate for the detection of swine flu cases. With the cold withdrawing, cases of swine flu will reduce gradually, they said.
Swine flu diagnostic centres say there is no upsurge in the number of samples being sent to them for swine flu testing. Dr Abhay Chowdhary, director, Haffkine Institute, Parel, said, “Like any other influenza, the H1N1 virus is always present in our surroundings. There is no outbreak of swine flu cases in the city. After a single positive case is reported in the city, we start particularly checking for traces of H1N1 virus and thus we end up finding more cases.”
Dr Chowdhary added, “Recent cases that were reported to be positive had travel history from the northern states. If a person has been exposed to the virus in the past, there are fewer chances of the same person contracting the virus again.”
Dr Arun Bamne, executive health officer, BMC, confirmed that there are no signs of a major outbreak. “Six cases have been reported in February and one case was reported last month. BMC hospitals are well prepared to handle cases of swine flu.”
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has instructed all its hospitals to be alert with regards to swine flu cases. Doctors from BMC hospitals claimed that they are monitoring every case that complains of consistent cold and fever and that the hospitals are well prepared and well equipped to handle swine flu cases.
City doctors have warned patients who have low immunity, including senior citizens, should immediately get tested if they notice symptoms such as a running nose, cold and cough.