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2nd swine flu death
Published on 9 Aug. 2009 12:25 AM IST
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A 53-year-old woman in Mumbai Saturday became India’s second swine flu victim in a week as the influenza A(H1N1) virus continued to spread across the country, infecting 71 new patients including an NRI couple and a number of doctors. With the new cases, the total number of people infected by the contagious virus has reached 783, the health ministry said. The woman, identified as Fehmida Panwala, a Mumbai resident, died at Kasturba hospital, Maharashtra’s Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Sharvari Gokhale told IANS in Mumbai. A resident of Jogeshwari suburb in northwest Mumbai, Panwala was Tuesday admitted to a hospital near her residence for treatment of diabetes and hypertension. On Friday, she was shifted to the Lilavati Hospital for a few hours. Her condition worsened and she was rushed to the Kasturba Hospital in the evening. Her sample was taken Saturday morning and she was diagnosed with influenza A(H1N1) in the afternoon. Health ministry officials in Delhi said Panwala was referred from a private hospital to an identified government health facility in Mumbai on the night of Aug 7 with acute respiratory distress. She tested positive in the afternoon and expired at about 4.30 p.m., they said. This is India’s second swine flu death after 14-year-old Reeda Shaikh, 14, became India’s first swine flu victim when she died in Pune Monday. The health ministry said that of the 71 fresh cases, Pune recorded 34, Delhi 13, Mumbai two, Bangalore 10, Chennai seven, Mangalore three and Amritsar and Faridabad one each. Among the states, Maharashtra is the worst affected with over 260 cases. Pune accounts for the majority of them. “A central team has been deputed today (Saturday) to Pune to assess the situation and institute appropriate public health measures,” the health ministry said. In Pune, a medico and a pharmacist, both positive cases of swine flu, continued to be critical for the second day Saturday at the Sassoon Hospital. “They are both on ventilators and their condition is causing concern,” said Pradeep Awate, head of the state Swine Flu Control Room. In Mumbai, 28-year-old businessman Sandeep Gaikwad, who was admitted to the Hiranandani Hospital after developing swine flue symptoms last week, turned critical Friday and was put on a ventilator. An non-resident Indian couple who arrived in Ahmedabad from the US last month tested positive for swine flu Saturday. “The NRI couple who had arrived from Atlanta on July 31 initially went to a private hospital thinking it was a common cough and cold problem. They were referred to the government civil hospital on Aug 5,” the senior doctor of the civil hospital said. “The condition of the man remained critical during Aug 5-7 and he was on a ventilator which was removed today after his condition was found to be stable,” he said. In Delhi where hundreds of people flocked to testing centres, at least two doctors were home-quarantined with suspected swine flu. “I am now home-quarantined for two days,” S.K. Sharma, chief medical officer of the swine flu detection centre at the government-run Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital, told IANS. “We are too much exposed to the virus as we spend over 12 hours in the testing centre. My sample has been sent for tests and the result will come in 48 hours,” he said. In Kolkata two doctors, Ranjit Mandal and Prashanta Sarkar, were admitted to the Infectious Diseases (ID) hospital with symptoms of swine flu. They had fever, cough and cold. “Their samples have been sent for testing,” the state health department’s nodal officer for swine flu Tapas Sen told IANS. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh also reported their first swine flu suspects Saturday. In Pune, except for one case, all new cases are indigenous, most of them social or school contacts. One among the two cases reported in Mumbai is a six-year-old girl who had travelled from London. Of the 13 cases in Delhi, two have a travel history. The case admitted in the identified health facility in Faridabad is a 33-year-old man who travelled from Italy. The case from Amritsar is a 26-year-old man who travelled from Dubai and was identified during screening at Delhi airport. Of the seven cases in Chennai, three are travel-related cases. All 10 cases reported from Bangalore are indigenous. One case reported in Mangalore is a contact of the earlier reported positive case admitted in the same city. The other two had travelled to that city from Delhi and Hyderabad.

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