Swine flu claims 4 in Mumbai as national toll crosses 100

The dreaded Swine flu that is spreading across the country claiming hundreads of lives across several states, including Gujarat, Haryana and Delhi, has resurfaced in Mumbai as well, claiming four lives in the last couple of weeks.

Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) health department on Thursday said there were a total of 23 confirmed cases reported from city's public and private hospitals in January, including the four dead.

Of the 23 reported cases, ten patients are from Mumbai, including a four-year-old girl from Santacruz and a nine-year-old girl from Goregaon while the remaining have come from Gujarat, Bhopal or other peripheral parts to seek treatment.

Reports said a 60-year-old woman who was admitted to the Kasturba Hospital on 31 January died on Thursday morning while another 34-year-old woman who was transferred from a Vashi-based hospital to Jaslok Hospital in Peddar Road succumbed to H1N1 on Wednesday.

Earlier, a 56-year-old Jalgaon-based man who was admitted to Kasturba Hospital had died. Subsequently, on 3 February, a 61-year-old woman from Palghar died in the Holy Spirit Hospital in Andheri.

Hospital sources said the minor girls from Santacruz and Goregaon are getting better.

According to BMC officials, the maximum infections are reported from western Mumbai's western suburbs - Santacruz, Bandra, Mahim, Malwani areas of Malad, Lokhandwala area in Andheri West, Gokuldham area in Goregaon East and Borivali followed by a few cases in South Mumbai.

One case has been recorded in eastern suburbs of Mulund while three patients hail from South Mumbai areas of Peddar Road, Malabar Hill and Bhulabhai Desai Road.

Doctors have expressed concern over the virus affecting even healthy individuals. Added to this, there are hardly any laboratory facilities to conduct H1N1 tests in India, they say.

Earlier, only the elderly, children, pregnant women, patients on steroids or diabetics were seen to be vulnerable.

"Up to five persons that initially died in Telangana were all healthy individuals. Most of the infected are from Rajasthan or Ahmedabad are some are healthy people without any co-morbidities," said Dr Shrivastava.

"We have issued a health advisory to all municipal corporations. We are making tami flu tablets available and Health department is closely monitoring the situation" said health minister Deepak Sawant

Though Mumbai has recorded fewer cases as compared to other states, doctors say it is only a matter of time before the virus penetrates fully in the city.

While the city has three major laboratories that test swine flu, the cost for getting a throat swab tested for H1N1 virus is between Rs6,000 and Rs10,000 in privately-run Religare labs. In government-run Haffkine Institute and Kasturba Hospital, the swine flu tests are conducted for free.

Suyash Sharan, a resident of Aishbagh tested positive for HINI virus yesterday, Chief Medical Officer SNS Yadav said.

Meanwhile, swine flu claimed nine more lives in Gujarat on Thursday, taking the total number of deaths due to the H1N1 virus to 62 this year, the state government said.

In Haryana, 10 deaths have taken place due to swine flu in the current winter season and 65 positive cases were reported across the state, a senior official said here on Thursday.

In Haryana, there were 65 positive cases of swine flu and ten casualties have been reported so far.

The number of cases of swine flu in Lucknow has risen to 31, after a five year-old boy tested positive for the deadly virus.

Five more deaths due to swine flu were reported in Rajasthan on Thursday, taking the toll since the beginning of the year to 73, officials said.

Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot is also reported to have been affected by swine flu.

Over 270 people have reached the state's largest government-run Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur for swine flu tests.

Of the 24 suspected swine flu cases identified in north coastal AP only six have turned out to be positive, of which most have recovered with the exception of a 65-year-old male patient undergoing treatment of the government Hospital for likely TB.

In one of the worst cases of swine flu infection in Bhopal, 28 students of School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) have been placed under isolation after two students of the same institute tested positive for H1N1 influenza. Condition of an under-graduate girl is critical.

Swine flu claimed life of a 27-year-old woman in Chhattisgarh capital Raipur while she was being shifted to another hospital, as her condition deteriorated late on Wednesday. Swine flu deaths have also been reported from Delhi-NCR.

Swine influenza is highly contagious, spreading quickly from person to person, and there is also an increase in new cases from across the country and is assuming pandemic proportions.

Swine flu symptoms include- fever, chills, coughing, sore throat, muscle pains and severe headache.

A few tips to steer clear of swine flu, apart from vaccination:

Wash hands: Wash your hands often in hot soapy water. Also avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.

Avoid contact: Stay home if you are sick and avoid physical contact with someone sick and try to stay a few feet away from them. Because the virus can spread when particles are dispersed into the air through a cough or sneeze. Therefore, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Sleep: Get enough sleep of 8 hours every night to keep your immune system strong and ready to fight infection.

Drink water: Keep your body hydrated by drinking water of about 8-10 glasses daily. This will help flush toxins from your system while maintaining good moisture and mucous production in your sinuses.

Eat immune-boosting foods: Eat whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and other vitamin-rich foods to keep your body strong and nourished. Avoid fatty foods as these can slow your metabolism and weaken your immune system.