New Delhi: The national capital today reported the first swine flu death of the year with a 42-year-old woman from Uttam Nagar succumbing to the H1N1 virus at a private hospital here.
"The woman had died yesterday evening while undergoing treatment at a private hospital but her death was reported today," said Charan Singh, Additional Director in-charge of Public Health, Health department. Also, nine fresh cases of swine flu that included a woman doctor from the Lady Hardinge hospital admitted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, were reported today taking the total figure to 23 so far this year.
"The patient who is a senior pathologist at Lady Hardinge hospital was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram hospital on January 2. She tested positive of H1N1 virus and is under observation in the ICU," said a doctor at Ganga Ram Hospital. Also, NCR recorded a second death due to swine flu with a 39-year-old man from Faridabad succumbing yesterday night.
Earlier, a 51-yr-old woman had died of the virus on December 26 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Three women, aged 66 (Madangir), 33 (Sangam Vihar) and 23 (Greater Kailash I) along with five men aged 48 (JNU campus), 71 (Laxmi Nagar), 57 (Rajouri Garden), 62 (Masjid Moth of South Delhi) and 24 (Chhattarpur) have tested positive for H1N1 (swine flu) virus, said Singh.
The 33-year old woman and the 24-year old man were found to be positive for H1N1 virus after tests were conducted at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and are undergoing treatment at Safdarjung hospital. The remaining six were tested in private labs and are being treated in private hospitals.
With 14 cases reported this year, the total figure has gone up to 66 since last year. Apart from that, first case of swine flu was reported in Gurgaon as a 32-year-old woman, a resident of Faridabad has been found positive for the disease and is admitted to a government-run civil hospital.
According to health experts, number of swine flu cases may rise as the disease spreads through the air and not via a vector, as in dengue. "Elderly people, diabetics, those with kidney problems, cancer patients and pregnant women are at risk and thus should get themselves vaccinated and take common precautions like washing hands properly, avoiding crowded places and wearing masks," a health department official said.
"H1N1 influenza spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing or through touch. The medicine generally prescribed for the disease is Tamiflu, which must be taken only after doctor's prescription," the official said.
Meanwhile, Health Department Secretary has started an orientation programme for the staff of all the 22 designated hospitals including five private hospitals on alert and directed them to follow the Health Ministry guidelines for treatment of swine flu. NCDC also held a meeting with the health department to review the situation.