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H1N1 or swine flu has already claimed three lives in Mumbai; among them is a pregnant woman from Dharavi, a man from Mankhurd and a girl from Malvani. With the three deaths, the number of people who have succumbed to the infection has risen to 16 this year. The 24-year-old pregnant woman, who was admitted to Sion Hospital after developing fever, cough and throat pain, was given Tamiflu treatment but died soon after she contracted pneumonia two days later. The 45-year-old man who died was also hospitalised under similar circumstances. The young girl who died was admitted to a hospital in Navi Mumbai where she died of acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Civic officials have swung into action, surveying 500 houses and 2,614 people from the slums to identify more cases of fever. This year, 353 cases of H1N1 infection have been reported by the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and 68 of those were outstation patients. In the last week alone, at least 92 cases of H1N1 have been reported across the city and there is a considerable strain on resources like the ICU wards due to the sudden influx of fever patients.
Apart from the H1N1 cases, there have been 95 cases of malaria, 201 cases of gastroenteritis infections, two cases of leptospirosis and a dengue infection in one week alone. Experts opine that the sudden shift from a dry to rainy weather has created a perfect environment for the virus to multiply.
What can you do?
If you or anyone in your family has these symptoms, visit the doctor immediately. Common symptoms of swine flu of H1N1 include:
Sneezing and couging
Loss of appetite
Maintain good personal hygiene and avoid being near people who are coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth too much. Exercise caution while handling other people's belongings because the virus can spread through droplets that stay back on surfaces.
Wear swine flu masks.
If you see symptoms developing, take a break from work and stay at home.
Pay special attention towards children, pregnant women and immuno-compromised people.
Image source: Shutterstock
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