Influenza H1N1 or Swine Flu is being reported in Mumbai amid ongoing Coronavirus pandemic in the country. Since the Swine Flu and Covid-19 have similar disease presentation, experts have advised that doctors should think of H1N1 is a patient doesn’t respond to Covid-19 treatment.
Dr Vasant Nagvekar, an expert on infectious disease recently treated two patients with cold, fever and headache. One of the patients, in his 30s, had recently recovered from Covid-19. Since it is rare for a patient to get Covid-19 reinfection within 90 days, the doctors suggested H1N1 test. The result of the test came positive, a report in The Times of India said.
Dr Nagvekar has seen two cases of Swine Flu and a third case of H3N2, also a subtype of influenza A. “The message here is there are other viruses in circulation and doctors should keep them in mind, especially when a patient is not responding to Covid treatment,” he reportedly said.
BMC health executive also confirmed that there have been two cases of H1N1 reported to the BMC this year.
H1N1 has been widely reported in the Maharashtra capital in the last few years. Mumbai had reported 44 cases last year and 451 cases and 5 deaths due to H1N1 in 2019.
Dr Om Srivastava, infectious disease expert said that since both H1N1 and Covid-19 are respiratory diseases, right diagnosis is important. He said that though there are similarities, there are differences in the virus, their incubation and how they spread.
Srivastava adds that there are have about a dozen cases where the patients have been tested positive for both H1N1 and Covid-19. “In a majority, they turned out to be false positives for H1N1. But a positive report for H1N1 shouldn’t be disregarded since it can also cause severe disease and death,” he adds.
The report said that trends suggest the occurrence of H1N1 is cyclic jump is seen only in alternate years. After 2,287 cases and 246 deaths in 2019, Maharashtra reported 121 cases and three deaths last year.