Swine flu has claimed as many as 221 lives in Maharashtra so far this year with Pune accounting for more than one-fourth of the fatalities, a government official said on Saturday.
Four of the victims hailed from adjoining Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh (two each) who were admitted to state hospitals, where they succumbed to the infection, according to a report compiled by the Maharashtra health department.
The report has figures related to H1N1 affected patients from January 1 to May 26.
“During this period 15,003 patients showed swine flu like symptoms and were administered medicines as a preventive measure,” Joint Director of Family Welfare Mukund Diggikar told PTI.
Of these patients, 1,106 tested positive for the deadly virus. Among them, 23 were from neighbouring states such as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, he said.
“H1N1 infection has been the cause of death of 221 people in Maharashtra between January 1 and May 26. There has been some fluctuation in the temperature, which is accelerating the infection,” said Diggikar, who holds the additional charge of epidemic diseases in the department.
“The common symptoms of swine flu include cough, fever and cold. It seems people are reporting their infection late. Most of the people must be assuming that these symptoms are that of common cough and cold. Hence, by the time H1N1 infection is detected, most of the patients are severely affected by the virus,” Diggikar said.
Going by the district-wise figures, Pune has reported 58 swine flu deaths -- the highest in the state, followed by 30 in Nashik district, he said.
According to the report, Aurangabad district reported 20 deaths and Ahmednagar district 19. Nagpur district in Vidarbha has recorded 17 fatalities, the highest in the eastern region of the state.
Amravati district in Vidarbha reported 12 deaths, followed by Akola (8), Buldhana (7), Kolhapur and Solapur (five each), Satara and Thane (four each), Parbhani and Mumbai (three each), Latur, Beed, Sangli, Osmanabad, Washim and Dhule districts (two each).
Jalna, Hingoli, Jalgaon, Wardha, Mira Bhayandar (a municipal corporation), Ratnagiri, Chandrapur, Yavatmal, Sindhudurg and Bhandara reported one death each due to H1N1 infection, Diggikar said.