Swine flu claimed its first victim in Punjab this season with the death a 55-year-old woman, Sarabjit Kaur, in Amritsar on Tuesday. She succumbed to the disease after battling it for almost a week at Fortis Escorts Hospital.
Kaur was admitted to hospital with symptoms of the H1N1 virus on January 14, and her nasal and throat swab tests retuned positive for swine flu a day later. Kept in an isolation ward, her condition turned critical on January 19 as she was unable to breathe on her own and had to be put on ventilator. According to Dr Raju Chauhan, the district epidemiologist, the health department was informed of her death around 9.15am.
Dr Chauhan said that what had baffled the medical fraternity in the city was that she had no known history of travel to any area affected by swine flu or any interaction with suspected patients. However, he added that her kin had failed to provide proper information about her itinerary and interactions.“Four of her relatives reported symptoms of swine flu, but they were tested negative. They were administered precautionary treatment,” he said.
He added that a survey by the animal husbandry department had not traced any signs of the disease in the animals in Amritsar.
Neighbouring Haryana has seen four deaths from the flu this season.