Indore is already reeling under a dengue outbreak as 177 patients have tested positive since January this year. Image Credit: Getty Images

Dubia: An unknown virus has claimed 64 lives in and around the Indian city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

As reported by the Indian newspaper, Times of India, the virus has symptoms identical to swine flu.

According to the report, Dr Amit Malakar, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) nodal officer from the Indian National Centre for Disease Control, said: “There is a common nature of virus found in the samples of these 64 patients. In most cases, it was found that the patient was suffering from cold and cough. The virus attacks the immune system and leads to death.”

The report further states that according to officials, recently instead of H1N1, samples were found H2N3 positive and medicines given to swine flu positive patients were not effective.

Dr Malakar added: “Every year swine flu virus changes its genes, which are identified by the health department and accordingly antiviral medicines are updated. In 2015, the virus identified as California swine flu... mutated to a new form of virus identified as the Michigan H1N1 influenza in the next two years.”

According to Indian newspaper The Free Press Journal: “The weather fluctuation causes H1N1 virus to multiply. The virus causes swine flu. Only two patients tested positive for H1N1 in January this year. One of them had died due to the disease. In all, the department [IDSP] has sent 223 swab samples to Bhopal this year. The city [Indore] is already reeling under a dengue outbreak as 177 patients have tested positive since January this year.”

IDSP nodal officer Dr Asha Pandit added: “Current weather conditions are conducive for H1N1 virus as the day and night temperature is fluctuating frequently. People should take special care of pregnant women and children as they possess low immunity.”