Amid the surge in swine flu (H1N1) cases across Mumbai, the civic body has categorised the cases into A, B, and C groups depending on the severity of the symptoms. These instructions have been issued to hospitals and health officials of all wards.
Moreover, wards have been instructed to admit all swine flu patients to Kasturba Hospital, which is the only facility to treat infectious diseases. Other health facilities can admit patients only if the patient load increases at Kasturba.
According to available data, 64 cases of swine flu have been reported in the last two months, of which 62 were recorded in July.
Dr Pradip Awate, an epidemiologist and state surveillance officer, said that swine flu cases usually rise during the monsoon. “In the last two years, COVID was the dominant disease. As it is now receding with communities developing immunity, we are witnessing more activity in swine flu. The rise is seen in Thane, Kolhapur and other areas,” he said. Given the rising cases, the civic health department issued a circular to all BMC and private hospitals, civic-run dispensaries, and private practitioners on testing and treatment protocols.
According to the circular, a person who has a mild fever, cough, throat irritation, body ache, headache, diarrhoea, and vomiting does not need a swine flu test, and there is no need to give Oseltamivir (the prescribed drug), but must be in home isolation.
“H1N1 influenza is a contagious acute respiratory disease caused by a virus. Its spread is through airborne routes. The common symptoms comprise fever, cough, cold, sore throat, bodyache, headache, chills, and fatigue. Influenza A H1N1 is now seasonal.”
Dr Kishore Sathe, emergency medicine specialist at PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, said while there is an upward trend in swine flu, the majority of cases are mild and do not require hospitalisation. He said that only senior citizens with multiple comorbidities need hospitalization, including ICU