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Two more deaths in SoBo, swine flu death toll 21

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Two south Mumbai residents died of swine flu on Thursday taking the death toll due to H1N1 virus in the city to 21. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in its health report confirmed that both the patients died of multi-organ failure and had tested positive for the virus.

“One of the deceased was a 67-year-old woman from Girgaum. She was a breast cancer patient and was taking chemotherpay and radiotherapy. She tested positive for swine flu and was admitted in Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai Central on February 26,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, epidemiology cell in-charge in BMC.

She further said that the other deceased was a 76-year-old man from Masjid Bunder who was admitted to Noor Hospital last week. “He was diabetic. After testing positive for the virus, he was transferred to Kasturba Hospital on February 27. His condition deteriorated and he developed pneumonia and succumbed to the infection,” added Dr Gomare.

With intermittent rains last week, health officials and experts expected a rise in swine flu cases in the city. The BMC’s swine flu report shows no respite in the number of cases either. So far, the state has seen around 180 deaths and 2,200 cases of swine flu. In an audit conducted by the state health department to understand the swine flu disease pattern, the health officials have found that most of the swine flu deaths had diabetes.

Hypertension, obesity were other diseases found more in the patients who died of the virus. The swine flu death ratio in the state has been 60% female and 40% male. Dr Om Srivastava, director of the infectious disease department in Jaslok Hospital, said, “People don’t need to panic but stay alert and cautious. The sudden change in weather is not a good sign. Colder climate is known to propagate viral infections and there may be a spurt of H1N1 infection cases too. High-risk people need to be more cautious and report to a doctor if they have any of the swine flu symptoms. Self medication should be strictly avoided.”

Swine flu symptoms
* Fever
* Cough
* Sore throat
* Runny or stuffy nose
* Body aches
* Headache
* Chills
* Fatigue
* Diarrhea
* Vomiting

How does it develop
* Swine flu symptoms develop about one to three days after one is exposed to the virus and continue for about seven days.

Dos and Don’ts
* Follow cough hygiene. Cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
* Wash your hands with soap or use sanitiser
* Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth
* Drink plenty of water and have nutritious food
* Have 8 hours of sleep
* Avoid handshakes/contact greetings
* Don’t spit in the open
* Avoid self medication

What causes swine flu
* Swine flu or H1N1 is part of the influenza A family of viruses. Influenza viruses infect the cells lining your nose, throat and lungs. The virus enters your body when you inhale contaminated droplets or transfer live virus from a contaminated surface to your eyes, nose or mouth. Though H1N1 is called swine flu, you can’t catch swine flu from eating pork. H1N1 is harboured in pigs and spreads to human beings through animal-human being interaction.

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