Swine flu has returned to the city. Two women were treated for H1N1 infection at a private hospital in south Mumbai. One of them, a 34-year-old woman from Nallasopara is on ventilator support and undergoing aggressive treatment. The other patient, a 55-year-old woman has been shifted from a Raipur hospital by an air ambulance. Both of them were shifted to the acute care unit at Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road on Monday.
“They tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus. They both have been administered Tami Flu drugs and are under close observation,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, director, infectious disease department, Jaslok Hospital. Shrivastav said the woman on ventilator support has developed kidney damage, which has worsened her condition.
Last month, not a single case of H1N1 was reported in the city, according to the civic epidemiology department, even when, doctors said, the infection is rapidly spreading in the interiors of the state. Maharashtra recorded 78 cases of the H1N1 virus, which has killed 22 people already this year. “It is not just the weather, but the non-immune population, which aid the transmission of the virus. It is spreading like a forest fire,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, in charge of the H1N1 influenza cell in the state.
A pregnant woman in her 20s from Nagpur died of the virus last week, according to the health department. “She had developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a common complication in most cases,” said Awate. Nine of the 22 deaths are reported from Nagpur district.
Waking up to the threat of the virus, the Union health ministry on Tuesday had taken a review meeting with state health officials from Maharashtra, among other states. “We are not denying that the mortality is alarming. We have enough stock of medications and have also sent defunct ventilators for immediate repairs,” said Dr Satish Pawar, director of the state health department.
Doctors said patients who are immunity compromised may consider taking the vaccine for the infection, although the health department has not recommended vaccinations. Shrivastav has vaccinated a few of his patients in the past one month.