Though H1N1 transmission in Mumbai is gradually declining, another Mumbai resident died of the infection at Kasturba Hospital, Chinchpokli, on Wednesday. Civic officials said that “delay in diagnosing her condition” could have led to her death.
Doctors said the 32-year-old woman from Trombay had no pre-existing illnesses. In a duration of five days, the woman was moved to four different hospitals – first a hospital in Chembur, then a Vashi facility, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Hospital, and finally Kasturba Hospital.
“She died of acute respiratory distress syndrome in the case of pneumonia. She was diagnosed with swine flu only when she was brought to Kasturba Hospital,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, head of the civic epidemiology cell.
The deceased had complained of swine flu symptoms on March 24, but was started on Oseltamivir only on March 30, when she was transferred to Kasturba Hospital.
Doctors said Oseltamivir works best when administered within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms.
A civic official said that prima facie, there seems to have been a delay in diagnosing her with H1N1. “She was being treated for typhoid,” said Dr Gomare.
This year, about 50% of those who died of the infection had either diabetes, or hypertension, or both. Only one-third of the patients who succumbed to H1N1 in the state had no pre-existing illnesses, like the Trombay-based victim. “Any delay in treatment proves fatal in patients with swine flu,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, director, infectious disease department, Jaslok Hospital.
The total death toll in the city is now 47, of which 18 were residents of Mumbai. Swine flu cases in the state have touched 4,670, and the death toll stood at 422, with six deaths being reported on Thursday.