Three woman die of swine flu in Mumbai

'Three women died due to swine flu at private hospitals yesterday. All three tested positive for the virus in the last week and were put on Tamiflu medications,' executive health officer Dr Girish Ambe said.

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A strong presence of the H1N1 virus was once again felt when three women, including a six months’ pregnant lady, succumbed to swine flu recently. This takes the June toll to six. Civic authorities said that all the three deceased were admitted in private hospitals and had comorbid conditions (presence of one or more diseases in addition to a primary one). 

According to Dr Daksha Shah, head of BMC’s epidemiology cell, the 28-year-old Irla resident who was pregnant, died on Tuesday. She was admitted to a private hospital in Andheri. Besides her pregnancy, the woman also had a lesion in her heart. “She was put on Tamiflu immediately,” said Shah. 

On Wednesday, the civic authorities were informed about a 58-year-old woman from Thane who died while taking treatment in a private nursing home. “She had diabetes and hypertension. A part of her lung was also removed during a complicated surgery some time back,” said BMC’s executive health officer Dr Girish Ambe, adding that the woman was put on Tamiflu three days prior to her death.

Another death of a 45-year-old resident of Kalyan was reported on Wednesday. She too died in a private hospital. “The woman had history of hypertension and she was put on Tamiflu seven days prior to her death,” said Ambe. The health officer said that there was no delay in the treatment of all the three deceased.

Ambe said family members of the deceased were screened and ones with symptoms had been put on Tamiflu.

Similar to the swine flu wave last year, experts have observed a trend that although more men test positive, the deaths are higher in women. Of the six deaths this month, five are females. “Last year, more women died. Therefore, females, especially those who are pregnant or have any other illness, should be watchful,” said Shah adding that men should also not take any symptoms lightly.

Additional chief secretary, public health, Sharvaree Ghokale said, “Things are different this year; we know how to tackle the virus. I would say malaria is worrisome right now.”

Experts from the National Institute of Virology are conducting studies to co-relate swine flu and comorbid conditions.

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