Barely a week after swine flu claimed its first victim of the season in Amritsar, also the first in Punjab, a 50-year-old Tarn Taran woman died of it on Monday, triggering fears of its outbreak in the city again.
Surjit Kaur, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar, breathed her last at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here. The city has also received a suspected case of swine flu, spurring the district health officials into action again.
Giving details, Dr Raju Chauhan, district epidemiologist, said the patient, who had tested positive for swine flu a few days ago, was in a critical condition when she was brought to the hospital on Monday.
“She was admitted to the emergency ward in an extremely critical condition at around 4.50 pm on Monday from where she was shifted to the swine flu ward. She succumbed to her ailment around 6 pm,” he said.
He maintained that prior to being referred to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, she was admitted to a private hospital. “She had caught the infection a few days ago. She had cough and fever so she went to see a private doctor,” he said. According to Dr Chauhan, the patient’s condition was quite critical when she was brought to the hospital.
“Her respiratory system had failed, while her blood pressure could not be recorded. The doctors did their best to save her, but the H1N1 virus had taken its toll on her,” he said.
Dr Chauhan said that quite like the 55-year-old Batala Road resident Sarabjit Kaur, who died due to swine flu last week, Surjit Kaur had no known history of any sojourn or interaction with any affected person.
Meanwhile, 42-year-old Vikas has been admitted to a private hospital with symptoms akin to those of swine flu. His nasal and throat swabs had been sent for testing, said Dr Chauhan.
Family accuses docs of negligence
The family of Surjit Kaur has charged the staff at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital with negligence. They have alleged that despite the hype created by the health department about swine flu preparedness, they were not provided with protection kits.
“The staff was not even aware of the location of the isolation ward in the hospital. When they found it, it was locked up and the key lost. The lock was broken and the patient taken inside, but ironically, there was no ventilator for her,” claimed Rajinder Singh, husband of Surjit Kaur. District epidemiologist Dr Raju Chauhan refused to comment on it.
Symptoms of swine flu
A sudden fever of 100.4 F or above; tiredness; aching muscles or joint pain; headache; and runny or blocked nose. Most people recover within a week, even without special treatment.