A 23-year old pregnant woman, a resident of Dhule district, died of swine flu on Thursday at the state-run JJ Hospital in Byculla.
Dr TP Lahane, the dean of the hospital, confirmed the death. This is the first swine flu death from Dhule, bringing the state's toll to 18 deaths since January.
The deceased, who was eight months pregnant, had come to Mumbai for treatment on Tuesday. "The woman was critical and already on ventilator support," said Lahane. On Wednesday, she delivered a stillborn foetus after hospital gynaecologists induced labour.
Doctors said she suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome and bilateral pneumonia. "She was immediately put on Tamiflu," said Dr Shailesh Jadhav, professor and head of unit, Medicine, JJ Hospital. However, test reports confirming her H1N1 positive status were only ready five hours after her death, at 5.30 pm on Thursday.
Civic authorities claimed they were informed only on Friday morning. "This is not considered a Mumbai death, because she caught the infection in Dhule. In case of a Mumbai death, authorities have to inform us so we can begin contact tracing," said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
"Health officials in Dhule have started contact tracing in her village, Borkund, and will give prophylactic treatment of Tamiflu to those with swine flu symptoms," said Dr Pradip Awate, state epidemiologist, Directorate of Health Services. "We will keep track of the contacts of doctors and paramedic staff who were in touch with the patient at JJ Hospital," said Dr Mangala Gomare, epidemiologist, BMC.