Three more fell victims to the deadly swine flu disease in Pune, Latur and Kolhapur respectively. About 19 swine flu patients are currently critically ill, of which 17 are being treated at hospitals in Pune.
The number of swine flu cases in Maharashtra rose to 8241. 810 people have died from the H1N1 virus in the state, report officials. One of the three deaths was a 60-year-old man from Bangewadi village in Latur district. He died at the Government Medical College Hospital in Latur. A 47-year old man from Satara district died at Poona Hospital in Pune, while a 42-year-old woman from Sangli district scumbled at a private hospital in Kolhapur.
"Rain has been recorded at many places across the state. All types of influenza viruses, including H1N1, grow and spread very fast during such climate. Besides, several festivals fall in September and October, during which people mingle in large numbers. The crowds can lead to rapid spread of infections. Hence, we are seeing more cases during this period," said another health official.
At various screening centers in the state a total of 2,634 people exhibiting influenza-like illness were screened for swine flu. In Pune so far around 134 people have died of swine flu of which 46 were local residents while the rest were referred to hospitals in the city from adjoining areas.
Pregnant women, elderly and immunocompromised people should avoid being in crowded places. Patients should seek treatment at the earliest. "Delayed treatment has been one of the main causes of swine flu deaths this year," said S T Pardeshi, medical officer of health, Pune Municipal Corporation.