Pune: Till September-end, Maharashtra has topped the chart for swine flu deaths in the country with 229 patients having succumbed to the disease. Pune also witnessed 49 deaths so far this year. Health experts from the city highlight that high-risk patients should take vaccines to protect against the deadly disease.
As per the data furnished by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), there have been 1,177 deaths so far this year due to swine flu across the country and 27,838 patients have tested positive.
In the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits, along with 49 deaths, so far 172 patients have tested positive for swine flu.
Within PMC limits alone, 8,00,764 patients have been screened for swine flu this year. 13,905 have been administered Tamiflu while 172 were found positive.
PMC Health Department Chief Dr Ramchandra Hankare said that high-risk patients in the city limits are being given vaccines. “There has been a rigorous campaign by the civic body to give vaccines to high-risk patients as well as young children with low immunity. High-risk patients are those who have a medical condition which weakens their immunity. Pregnant women are also among high-risk patients,” said Dr Hankare.
Sharing similar views, Dr Sudhir Patsute, who leads the PMC-run Naidu Hospital, shared that swine flu virus is now spread across the country. “We have witnessed patients in every season. When there is an increase in normal influenza cases, there is also an increase in swine flu patients. The only way for high-risk patients to keep themselves safe is by taking vaccines,” said Dr Patsute.
As per recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), annual vaccinations are a must for pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy, children aged between 6 months to 5 years, elderly individuals who are more than 65 years of age, individuals with chronic medical conditions and health-care workers.