Mumbai: More than 350 people have tested positive and 26 patients have succumbed to swine flu this year. The question is how worried should one be.
Maharashtra seems to be bearing the brunt of the outbreak of swine flu. A 34-year-old in Nashik died in the local civil hospital shortly after being admitted, even as two more people were tested positive in the area. That took the toll due to swine flu in the state to 11 with 25 deaths across the country, in the past month.
Six states - Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu have reported more than 350 cases. Pune has beenthe worst hit, registering 250 cases and 10 of the 11 casualties in the past month. The Pune Municipal Hospital has earmarked 47 hospitals and clinics, where Swine Flu patients can be treated in isolation.
The National Institute of Virology has Told CNN-IBN that there was a 15 per cent to 20 per cent increase in transmission of swine flu in March itself, saying the virus is now 'endemic' to the country. That means the virus will be in circulation, like the regular flu virus till 60 to 70 per cent of the population develops immunity against it.
Doctors emphasise that this outbreak is not as deadly as it was back in 2009.
Even though we're seeing an increase in H1N1 cases, for most people, it will remain a mild illness. Don't panic and keep in mind that while swine flu claimed more than 1,000 lives during the peak of the 2009 outbreak, regular flu kills 350 to 400 people everyday in the country. The bottom line is not to ignore flu-like symptoms.