Swine flu claimed one more victim in the city on Monday, when Parvati Pikle, 72, a Malad resident, succumbed to the H1N1 virus at the civic-run Kasturba Hospital, Chinchpokli. Pikle is the second person in the city to succumb to swine flu virus this year. There were no swine flu deaths last year.
Pikle had tested positive for H1N1 virus on July 28 at a private nursing home in Malad, after which she was referred to Kasturba Hospital, which handles patients with infectious diseases.
On August 1, Vinay Talewar, 19, a resident of Chembur, had succumbed to the virus at Kasturba Hospital. Talewar was severely malnourished and suffering from epilepsy.
Despite the civic body insisting that patients should be put on Tamiflu medicines as soon as the doctor suspects H1N1, both Pikle and Talewar were administered the drugs only after exhibiting symptoms for a few days.
“If H1N1 is suspected, doctors should immediately put the patient on Tamiflu. If results are negative, treatment should be stopped. Tamiflu is most effective within 24 hours of the virus attack,” said Dr Om Shirivastav, infectious disease specialist, Jaslok Hospital.
On Tuesday, four more in the city tested positive for H1N1 virus, taking the tally of positive cases to 250 this year, and 37 this month.
Before admission to Kasturba Hospital, Pikle was admitted to the Evershine Nursing home in Malad for multiple organ failure. “She did not exhibit swine flu symptoms but complained of throat irritation. We sent her throat swabs for testing. She came to the hospital with cardiac failure, acute renal failure with septicaemia (bacterial infection in the blood),” said Dr Varun Chawla, cardiologist at the nursing home who treated Pikle. She was also suffering from diabetes, making her vulnerable to H1N1. “We put her on Tamiflu medication after her results were positive,” said Chawla adding that she initially responded to the treatment, though succumbed later.