MUMBAI: The H1N1 influenza virus killed more people in the state than malaria and dengue put together this year. In the city, the virus showed a 60-fold jump in terms of the number of people it affected as compared to last year, but only five cases resulted in deaths. Experts caution that the virus is capable of throwing up surprises as the winter sets in.
Initially termed swine flu, the virus that caused the 2009 pandemic made a surprising comeback, affecting 1,234 people officially. It also claimed 122 lives in the last 10 months- double the number of lives claimed by malaria this year. State records show that malaria and dengue have killed 60 and 59 people respectively so far.
In Mumbai, the H1N1 virus affected 358 people and claimed five lives as opposed to six cases and zero casualties last year. For the city, malaria remained the top killer, claiming 30 lives and affecting over 14,000 people though it is 58% less as compared to previous year. H1N1 comes second while dengue remains a close third with three deaths.
State experts pointed out that mortality in H1N1 cases was also higher when compared with other seasonal ailments. For instance, around 9.15% of patients who contracted the viral infection succumbed to it whereas only 1% of malaria patients died.A 9 per cent case fatality ratio deserves a lot more attention than we've been giving to H1N1 since the end of the pandemic.