A 29-year-old woman became the first victim of H1N1 in Thane this year, after she tested positive for the virus on Thursday. Health department officials, who fear that the upcoming marathon and festive season could aid the spread of the virus, have appealed to citizens with symptoms of swine flu to stay away from crowded places. Last year, 16 people died owing to H1N1 in Thane.“The woman has been admitted to Jupiter Hospital. We have isolated her and also tested her family and relatives as a preventive measure,” RT Kendre, Thane municipal corporation’s (TMC) health officer, said. The civic body has also has set up an isolation ward at the Kalwa Hospital for H1N1 patients.“Dahi handi is celebrated on a large scale in Thane. Hundreds of people gather at the same spot. In case any of them are infected, the virus could spread,” said Kendre. “We have appealed to people with symptoms to stay away from large gatherings.”The TMC is also worried about the 25,000 people who are expected to participate in a marathon on September 2. “We will provide masks to athletes as a precautionary measure to ensure that there is no spread of the virus,” said an official.