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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Swine flu in India: No need to panic

Meren Longkumer, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 10, 2009
First Published: 16:44 IST(10/8/2009) | Last Updated: 11:07 IST(11/8/2009)

Swine flu alertAs the number of swine flu cases spiked sharply across the length and the breadth of the nation, there is widespread panic and confusion among people on how to tackle the global pandemic.

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The government has asked people not lose their nerves in the face of swine flu assuring them that it is well-equipped to handle the situation.It is a curable disease, either you pop Tamiflu pills or it would recede in due course of time depending upon the person's immunity.

Union Health Secretary Naresh Dayal said, "The virus that has attacked India is relatively less virulent than the seasonal flu that causes more deaths every year."

Apart from Pune's Reeda Sheikh's case, the first swine flu fatality in India, who died due to wrong diagnosis and delay in treatment, five other victims were suffering from one ailment or the other and swine flu (H1N1 virus) aggravated the condition, that led to the patients' death.

Analysis of other five casualties indicate few important trends:

1. The victims were being earlier treated for other complications other than the H1N1 disease. 2. Delayed treatment, wrong diagnosis. 3. Not all deaths reported were due to Swine flu.

Here is a quick look at rest of the victims apart from Rida:

* Fehmida Panwala (Mumbai): Admitted for diabetes and hypertension

The 53-year-old woman died at Kasturba hospital in Mumbai on Saturday, August 8, 2009. A resident of Jogeshwari suburb in northwest Mumbai, Panwala was admitted to a hospital 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.

* Third victim Sanjay Kokare (Pune): Late treatment

The 42-year-old school teacher succumbed to swine flu in Pune on August 9, 2009. He had persistent fever and severe cough. After which he had improved and was at home for two days. Thereafter, his condition deteriorated again and he was taken to a private hospital in Pune. He was shifted to Sassoon Hospital two days back and was on ventilator as he had problem in breathing. He did not survive.

* Fourth victim Pravin Patel (Ahmedabad): Viral pneumonia case

The 43-year-old NRI, who arrived in Ahmedabad from the US last month, succumbed to Influenza A (H1NI) early on Sunday at the civil hospital in Ahmedabad. He had other complications as well - viral pneumonia, which is very difficult to treat and his haemoglobin count was low. This situation was aggravated by a bout of swine flu and he passed away.

* Fifth victim Babasaheb Mane (Pune): Pneumonia in both lungs

The 35-year-old ayurvedic doctor, who died in Pune had pneumonia in both the lungs. Doctors said Mane had pneumonia in both his lungs when he was brought to Pune on August 7 from a private hospital and was unable to breathe. He was put on ventilator immediately on arrival," Dean of Sassoon hospital, Dr Arun Jamkar, said.

Mane, third flu victim in Pune, had an additional complication -- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) --and his blood pressure was also low, Jamkar said, adding, there was blood in his cough for the last couple of days.

* Sixth victim Sanjay Balakrishnan (Chennai): Multiple organ failure

The four-year-old boy died of swine flu in Chennai on Monday, marking the first fatality due to the viral infection in Tamil Nadu. The boy, being very young had low immunity for his body to fight the flu which aggravated his condition. He died of multiple organ failure on August 10. He was put on ventilator on Sunday when his condition worsened, hospital officials said.

No reason to panic In India, 864 people have been infected and six died. Of these, 470 patients have been discharged after treatment and about 2,479 people have been tested so far. The Health Ministry and other organisations stepping up activities to check this global pandemic on war footing. The government also announced a slew of steps to tackle the fast-spreading flu, including decentralising the drug supply and allowing accredited private laboratories to conduct the tests.

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