Pune: The state’s swine flu death toll soared to 239 after eight casualties were reported in the past 20 days.
There has been a perceptible increase in the swine flu fatality rate this year, as the state recorded 216 swine flu deaths during the same period last year.
The state health department’s latest report revealed that Pune recorded the maximum 52 deaths.
Experts said the swine flu virus transmission was likely to rise further as persistent rainfall led to drop in temperature, providing a conducive atmosphere for the virus to grow and spread.
“Some of the H1N1 casualties reported this month had actually occurred last month. But they were reported to the state’s centralized system in October,” a state health official said. The state recorded 2,259 cases of swine flu this year so far.
Mumbai recorded 642 cases, followed by Nagpur (375), Nashik (328), Thane (129) and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits (173). The maximum swine flu casualties (52) were recorded within the PMC limits. Nagpur recorded 44 deaths, followed by Nashik (39) and Kolhapur (22). Mumbai recorded a total of 30 deaths.
“Assessment of patients who succumbed to swine flu-induced complications showed that delay in treatment was one of the main reasons for complications and deaths. We have told medical practitioners to administer oseltamivir to patients with co-morbid conditions within 24 hours,” Subhash Salunkhe, a senior public health expert, who is also head of the state’s technical committee on communicable diseases, said.
Infectious diseases expert Sudhir Patsute, who is in charge of the PMC-run Naidu Hospital and a member of various state-run committees on swine flu, said, “Infected patients with underlying medical conditions are most at risk of developing complications.”