First swine flu death confirmed in India

First swine flu death confirmed in India

Pune/New Delhi: India registered its first swine flu death on Tuesday after a 14-year-old school girl from Pune fell victim to the virus, a week after she was admitted to a private hospital with symptoms of the disease.

The death occured even as health officials in Pune said three more persons including two students tested positive for the H1N1 virus on Monday night, taking the total number of Swine flu cases in the city to 101. Several schools were also shut down after Pune came on the country’s swine flu map with 558 cases reported in several parts of the country.

Confirming the death, Union Health secretary Naresh Dayal said the girl who has not been identified yet could have been “saved" if there was medical intervention in time suggesting there was a delay in treatment.

The girl first started showing symptoms of sore throat, running nose, headache on 21 July after which she consulted a doctor, a health ministry official said, adding she had improved following which she resumed going to school.

She developed fever again on 25 July for which she consulted another private medical practitioner but the fever persisted and was admitted to Jahangir hospital on 27 July.

As the patient’s condition worsened, she was shifted to ICU and was put on ventilator on July 29 and she tested positive for swine flu on 30 July.

Despite being on Oseltamivir, an anti-swine flu drug, her condition deteriorated leading to multi-organ failure and she expired at 5:00pm on Saturday, a senior health ministry official said in New Delhi.

Health authorities in New Delhi and Mumbai said there was no reason for panic but counselled schools not to allow students showing symptoms of the disease like severe cold, bodyache and cough. Pune Divisional Commissioner Dilip Bhand said swine flu patients must take treatment in government hospitals.