After pregnant, 23 year-old Trushali Laxman Divade, from Dhule became the first H1N1 fatality in the city on Friday, medical staffers at JJ hospital who attended to her have been advised to take a propholysis Tamiflu regimen as a precautionary measure. Seventy-eight medical staffers, including doctors, nurses, ward boys, physiotherapists and other help work in shifts at the critical care unit (CCU) of the hospital where Divade was admitted. Dr Shailesh Jadhav, head, medicine department at JJ hospital, said, “We have a stock of Tamiflu medicines and have asked doctors and staffers to go for a propholysis, if they want. We have given the staff this option as a precautionary measure.”
According to the state health department, when a patient tests positive, all his/her contacts are traced and observed for a 10-day period, and only those who exhibit any swine flu-like symptoms are put on medication. In Divade’s case too, the local unit of the state health department of Borkund village in Dhule, has begun the tracking process. “We are observing those who must have come in contact with the deceased for any H1N1-like symptoms. We will also trace those who may have come in contact with her during her transit to JJ hospital from Dhule. She belonged to the high-risk group as she was pregnant, but there is no need for others to panic,” said Dr Pradeep Awate, state swine flu in-charge.
Dr Mangala Gomare from the BMC’s epidemiology cell, said, “There are scientific guidelines which state that the contacts should be traced and if found symptomatic, should be given medication. We are observing the staff at JJ who have come in contact with this patient.” Health department officials say before being brought to JJ hospital, Divade was admitted to Dhule civil hospital, where she was put on a Tamiflu regimen.
“At JJ, Divade was admitted to a separate room within the CCU where her delivery was also conducted, and thus she did not come into contact with many patients,” said a senior doctor from the hospital, on condition of anonymity. However, a doctor from a private city hospital, on condition of anonymity, contradicted that claim. “Though they may have not come in direct contact with her, other patients in the CCU are already immunity-compromised. Doctors will have to observe them carefully.”