Swine flu deaths mount to six

Swine flu deaths mount to six

Pune/Chennai: A 35-year-old Ayurvedic doctor and a four-year-old boy died of swine flu in Pune and Chennai on Monday, taking the toll due to the dreaded viral infection in the country to six.

The medic, Babasahib Mane, died in the Sassoon Hospital in Pune this morning, becoming the third person in the worst hit Maharashtra city to succumb to swine flu, a senior health official said.

Mane was ailing for sometime and blood had been found in his sputum in the last couple of days, he said.

In Chennai, a four-year-old boy, who was admitted to a private hospital with kidney and liver-related complications and had tested positive for swine flu, died this morning, health officials said. The boy had also been suffering from asthma. This is the first case of flu death in the city.

“The boy was in a very critical condition. He had been suffering from asthma and he had been taken from one hospital to another for various complications. Ultimately he landed up in this hospital for a kidney-related problem...and they found the boy testing positive (for swine flu)," Tamil Nadu health secretary V K Subburaj said.

The boy, who was on a ventilator, died following “multi- organ failure," S Ilango, director of public health, said.

With the two deaths on Monday, the swine flu toll in the country has climbed to six.

Pune had reported India’s first swine flu death on 3 August with 14-year-old Reeda Sheikh succumbing to the disease.

On Saturday, 53-year-old Fahmida Panwala from Mumbai and 42-year-old teacher Sanjay Tukaram Kokre from Pune had died of swine flu. Pravin Patel, a 43-year-old NRI, died in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

A total of 82 fresh cases were reported from across the country on Sunday, taking the total number of positive cases to 864.

With the number of cases rising rapidly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stepped in and reviewed the situation with health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday.

Singh asked Azad to ensure that his ministry co-ordinates with state governments on efforts to contain the spread of the infection and set up a panel of experts to correctly disseminate information on H1N1 virus.

Azad has asked people having flu symptoms to take precautions and stay away from public places till their status of infection was clear.

He said three companies were working to develop a swine flu vaccine in the country. “WHO has provided virus seed to several countries including India. If another country develops the vaccine before us, we will adopt it," he said.