Doctors say virus striking early due to mutation.
New Delhi: While the national capital is already dealing with early breakout of vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria, swine flu has also struck early, with over 300 cases and two deaths being reported in the city so far.
While the official figures from the Union ministry of health state that the H1N1 virus has affected 320 people and claimed two lives, the hospitals in the city have reported many more deaths due to it. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) alone has recorded 10 deaths since January this year.
“There have been 75 patients who have tested positive for swine flu and 10 deaths in the last two months. At present, two serious cases are admitted in ICU. The usual season for this virus is during winters, but it has come quite early this year,” said Atul Kakar, vice-chairman of Internal Medicine department, SGRH.
Sandeep Nayar, senior consultant at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, said that the reason behind swine flu striking early this year could be that the virus is getting mutated, resisted the drug and adapting to the present weather conditions.
“A surge in swine flu cases at this time is unexpected. It could be possible that the virus is getting used to the temperature and it does not need its core conditions. It is multiplying,” he said.
The hospital has recorded three positive cases of swine flu out of which one patient is in ICU, three suspected cases, and one death. Most of these patients are in the age group of 30-40 years.
“It is a worrying scenario. We are already fighting dengue and malaria and H1N1 virus has made situation worse,” the doctor said. Another worry is the presence of co-infections in many patients. Doctors have confirmed that there are cases where a patient has tested positive for both malaria and dengue, and now dengue and swine flu or malaria and swine flu.