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Mumbai doctors advice H1N1 test in case of negative Covid report

by Vaishali Sharma

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, doctors in Mumbai have reported a rise in reported cases of influenza H1N1 and H3N2 in the city.

Since swine flu and Covid-19 have a similar disease presentation, infectious disease experts have advised doctors to think of H1N1 if a patient doesn’t respond to Covid-19 treatment.

Infectious disease expert Dr Vasant Nagvekar said he has seen three cases of swine flu and two cases of H3N2, also a subtype of influenza A this year.

Dr Nagvekar said recently a patient who recovered from Covid-19 tested positive for H1N1.

“I have recently treated two patients who presented 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 re-infection within 90 days, he was suggested to take a H1N1 test. The result of the test came positive.”

Both Covid and H1N1 are respiratory diseases, hence the right diagnosis is important, the doctor said.

Last year, Mumbai reported 44 cases, while the city saw 451 cases and five deaths due to H1N1 in 2019.

Dr Tanu Singhal, consultant in paediatrics and infectious disease said, “We are seeing other viral infections and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases. Doctors should keep this in mind, especially when a patient is not responding to Covid treatment.”

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