A 35-year-old woman from Borivli died of swine flu on Tuesday. She is the third Mumbai resident to die of the H1N1 infection this year, according to the civic body.
“The woman developed pneumonitis in both her lungs because of the infection. She died of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS),” said a civic official.
Since January, the city has recorded 597 cases of swine flu. On Tuesday, 27 new H1N1 cases were reported to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) health department.
As the cases of swine flu rise, doctors are suspecting that another virus – the influenza A H3N2 – could also be in circulation.
“The victim had no pre-existing condition that is common in many cases of H1N1-related deaths. So there is suspicion there is another virus that is causing more deaths. We should look at testing patients for the H3N2 virus too,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, director, infectious disease department, Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road.
Dr Abhay Chaudhary, director at the Haffkine Institute, Parel , said H3N2 is in circulation. “Only government laboratories have the facility to test the H3N2 virus. We have tested a few samples,” said Dr Chaudhary.
The civic body has instituted a committee to review swine flu deaths. On Tuesday, this committee found four of the 17 deaths they analysed at different city hospitals were not caused by the swine flu infection.
“In these cases, we found other conditions were the cause of death, not H1N1,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, chief of the civic epidemiology cell.