After Hyderabad, Delhi recorded its first swine flu death after a 51-year-old woman succumbed to the disease at a private hospital on Friday.
Over 40 people have died of swine flu, caused by the H1N1 virus, across India this year. It claimed three lives and more than a dozen people were hospitalized in Hyderabad in December alone.
The woman who passed away two days ago at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was shifted to the city hospital on Dec 21 after being diagnosed with the deadly virus in a hospital in Ghaziabad in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, a hospital official told IANS
“The patient at the time of admission was in a critical state. She had lung failure and was on a high frequency ventilator support,” said a statement from the hospital.
“Her diagnosis was done in Ghaziabad and SGRH in Delhi confirmed it to be a case of swine flu. In spite of best efforts of doctors at SGRH, the patient expired on the morning of Dec 24,” it said.
The swine flu cases that have been reported in Delhi so far are not being seen as a “threat” by the city government. “The swine flu cases this year are not dangerous at all,” a Delhi government official told IANS.
“As many as 32 cases have been recorded in Delhi this year. People need not worry as there is no reason to panic. We are prepared to deal with the situation,” the official said.
“There were no case of swine flu death in Delhi until the one today (Friday). However, even this case did not originate in the city. The patient was a resident of Ghaziabad,” the official said.
H1N1 symptoms are the same as season flu symptoms with indications like fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and respiratory problems. People with a weak immune system are more susceptible to catching this virus. “Those suffering from other diseases, children, or older people are likely to catch this virus,” said the official.
With 17 government and five private hospitals that are equipped to treat cases of swine flu, the official claims that the government is well geared. “There is no shortage of medicines and we have a sufficient stock in place,” he said.
The first case of H1N1 virus first appeared in Mexico five years ago and rapidly spread around the world. As many as 981 people reportedly died of swine flu in 2009, the year World Health Organization called it a pandemic.