Flu continues to spread in Mumbai

Nationwide count of fresh cases now stands at 152, maximum in Maharashtra

Govt may soon review airport screening system. File photo

The nationwide count of fresh H1N1 cases now stands at 152 with the maximum number of positive cases (97) being reported from Maharashtra. As many as 1,707 positive cases were reported from the state till Sunday.

While Pune reported 18 fresh cases, the virus is spreading fast in Mumbai (60 cases). H1N1 has spread to other areas in Maharashtra with reports of positive cases coming from Aurangabad (9), Akola (2), Jalna (2), Ahmadnagar (1), Solapur (1), Latur (1), Nagpur (1), Jalgaon (1) and Dhule (1).

The death toll due to swine flu currently stands at 25 with maximum deaths reported from Pune (13), followed by Bangalore (5).

Other cities where casualties have been reported are Mumbai (2), Ahmedabad (1), Chennai (1), Vadodara (1), Nasik (1) and Thiruvananthapuram (1).

Owing to the rising count and death toll, the Centre too has revised its treatment guidelines, doing away with H1N1 tests for people with mild to moderate symptoms and quarantining before starting the treatment. The patients will be categorised depending on the severity of infection and given appropriate treatment.

Tamiflu treatment will be immediately prescribed for those with serious symptoms. The high-risk population — children, pregnant women, elderly people and those with chronic disorders — will also be put on medication even if their symptoms are mild. According to the sources, the government may soon review the airport screening system. Containing the virus through isolation at the airport is not an effective strategy anymore.

Meanwhile, the government is trying to rope in more private hospitals and diagnostic units. Technical guidelines have been prepared to help them set up H1N1 units.

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