A 72-year-old woman from Kurla has become the second person in the city to die of swine flu this year. As the toll from swine flu (H1N1) in Maharashtra nears 200, municipal health officers said six cases were reported this month from the city.
The second casualty from swine flu comes two weeks after an 18 month-old boy from Malad died of H1N1 on April 28. Municipal health officials said the Kurla resident died on May 12 at Kohinoor Hospital.
“She was suffering from high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease [a condition that affects the supply of blood to the heart]. While she was rushed to the hospital at 3am, doctors pronounced her dead within six hours of treatment,” said the officials.
Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said they have screened more than 3,776 people and 750 families in the locality where the woman stayed. “Six residents were diagnosed with fever in the same locality and they were immediately sent for treatment,” said Keskar.
Public health officials from the state said as many as 196 deaths have been reported across the state till May 14. “Through wide surveillance, we have screened suspected population of 7,62,489 and 13,524 patients underwent treatment. Pune, Nashik, Solapur and Aurangabad remain our focus areas because most of the cases are being reported from these vicinities,” said the official. As many as 19 swine flu patients are currently on ventilator across the state.
Experts said fluctuations in temperatures and the wearing off of vaccines could be reasons for the spurt. “As a precaution, we have intensified screening and surveillance for all viral infections and are vaccinating high-risk groups, such as diabetics and people with high blood pressure,” Dr Pradeep Awate , head, state epidemiology department.