Swine flu claims 36 this year so far

Namrata Devikar
Wednesday, 15 May 2019

“Even as we speak about numbers, only 16 patients of the 36 who died due to swine flu were  residents of the city. The other patients were from outside the PMC limits, who had come to the city for treatment,” said Dr Hankare.

PUNE: According to the Health Department of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), 36 patients succumbed since January 1, 2019 due to swine flu. 

The toll has been less after the rise in temperature, as in these conditions, the virus is unable to sustain itself.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Ramchandra Hankare, Chief of Health Department of the PMC, said the number of swine flu deaths is relatively less. 

“Even as we speak about numbers, only 16 patients of the 36 who died due to swine flu were  residents of the city. The other patients were from outside the PMC limits, who had come to the city for treatment,” said Dr Hankare.

Dr Hankare said not all deaths can be attributed to swine flu.“Patients who are in the high risk group such as patients with other major illnesses such as cancer, heart issues etc are more prone to contracting this virus, which later leads to death. For this, we have formed a death review committee which examines what caused the deaths. In all, 36 people died because of swine flu since January 1, which were approved by this committee,” said Dr Hankare.

He added that the number now has reduced due to the increased heat.

“The virus survives more in humid weather. Hence, due to increase in heat in summer, we can see that number of deaths significantly reduces,” said Dr Hankare. 

Speaking about the vaccination to prevent such deaths, Dr Sudhir Patsute from the Naidu Hospital said high-risk patients should get themselves vaccinated every year to ensure safety.

“We do not have a culture of vaccination which can actually make a difference. In foreign countries, there is a vaccine for normal influenza as well. Even for swine flu, we do not see a lot of awareness among people to get vaccinated. Patients who have low immunity such as children, senior citizens, patients with major illnesses like cancer and pregnant women should get themselves vaccinated every year to ensure more safety as swine flu is endemic,” said Dr Patsute.

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