Swine-flu or H1N1 virus has claimed 101 lives in Maharashtra since January 1, with an increase in the number of fresh cases reported across the state in March-April due to prevailing hot weather conditions, a top official said.
“Presently, the number of deaths in the state is 101. Since March and April, there has been sudden increase in the number of cases owing to severe weather that we are currently experiencing,” (Dr.) Pradip Awate, State Surveillance Officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme of the National Centre for Disease Control told IANS.
The maximum number of deaths, 32, have been reported from Pune urban and rural areas, followed by Nashik with 20 deaths so far, he added.
The government has sensitised the people to immediately report to a doctor in case they experience symptoms of H1N1 infection besides reducing social activities and exercising extreme health precautions, he added.
Since 2015, the state government has made influenza a notifiable disease and Maharashtra became the first state to launch voluntary, free influenza vaccination.
“So far, we have vaccinated over 124,000 people falling in the high-risk groups, including those suffering from diabetes, hypertension and others, who are susceptible to H1N1 infections,” Awate said.
Since 2009, when 14-year-old Rhia Shaikh, a Pune schoolgirl became the first case of Swine-Flu death in India, Maharashtra has recorded a little over 3,000 deaths till april 2017, he revealed.
Recently, Health Minister Deepak Sawant conducted a review meeting to take stock of the situation and evolve strategies to combat and contain the health crisis.
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