A few cities in the state — Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Akola in Vidarbha — have witnessed positive cases of swine flu since January. A few deaths due to the disease have been also registered in some of these cities.
Dr Sunil Ghurde, NMC’s medical officer (epidemic), said, “It seems that the summer will be pass smoothly. Much depends on the winter season during which swine flu aggravates. The virus is likely to keep a low profile in the city as has been the case in alternate years,” he said.
In 2017, the city started to feel the heat of swine flu from March onwards. As many as 28 positive cases were recorded between March 3 and 31 last year. The virus refused to relent. Around 350 positive cases and 40 deaths were registered last year, the highest ever for the city.
The city witnessed swine flu for the first time in 2011. There was an outbreak in 2015.
Dr Nikhil Balankhe, specialist in internal medicine and critical care, said swine flu cannot withstand in summer, but it happened last year as the virus mutated. “This is a sporadic virus. Swine flu cases in other cities of the state this year too are very negligible. The virus’ presence in seen between November and February,” he said.
The state government has continued swine flu vaccination across the state. As per the data available with the public health department, 54,000 high-risk people have been given vaccination in the last five months of which 41,000 were pregnant women.
People with high blood pressure and diabetes are also considered as high-risk patients and are given vaccination to protect from the virus.