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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Docs warn H1N1 may again be on its way back


Mumbai: City doctors caution that the H1N1 virus may be back again and those at high risk should remain alert. 
    With Pune losing five lives in a month's time to the influenza virus that caused a pandemic in 2009, doctors warn that the virus may have returned. 
    After affecting more than 358 people last year, the H1N1 virus remained dormant through November and December. Three patients from the city have tested positive in the past month but no death has been reported. In the same time, more than 54 tested positive in the state. 
    State epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate said of the seven deaths had been reported from the state, five were from Pune and one each from Aurangabad and Jalgaon. "Just like the rest of the country, we are also witnessing more cases of H1N1, but it is nothing unusual," he said, adding there might be more cases. But he added the state machinery was equipped to handle the situation if the virus starts affecting more people. 
    Both the 44-year-old woman and 31-year-old man from Mulund, who tested positive for H1N1 on Saturday, are stable. Infectious diseases consultant Dr Om Srivastava said, "The fluctuating temperature makes it conducive for the virus to thrive. H1N1 will circulate as seasonal flu now with occasional peaks." He said children, pregnant women, senior citizens, diabetics and others with underlying ailments need to be extra vigilant.

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