This Mumbai chemist's entire family tests positive for swine flu

Mohan Kishnani (40) was the first to be diagnosed with H1N1 after suffering from high fever, and his wife, 7-yr-old son and 8-yr-old daughter also tested positive subsequently; the family has been cured, and Kishnani says he will take complete care of himself and his family from now on

An entire family of four from Ulhasnagar, including two young kids, tested positive for swine flu after the father, the owner of a local chemist shop, was diagnosed with the disease, highlighting the vulnerability of workers in medical shops to the highly contagious disease.

Mohan Kishnani with his wife Sneha (38), daughter Rashi (8) and son Sumit (7)
Mohan Kishnani with his wife Sneha (38), daughter Rashi (8) and son Sumit (7)

Having been cured due to a timely diagnosis and with the family having recently completed the period of domestic isolation suggested by the doctor, Mohan Kishnani (40) now vows to take complete care of himself and his family.

Kishnani owns a chemist agency, Raja Medicals, around the Ulhasnagar station area, and is involved in both retailing and wholesaling of medicines. On February 14, Kishnani developed high fever and saw his family physician.

“I was running a temperature of around 103 degrees Celsius, which refused to subside even after I took pills. Hence, I saw my family physician, a local doctor. She told me it could be a viral infection and prescribed medication. In the next two days, however, both my wife and son developed fever as well.

While the doctor asked us to get a blood test, she said it could be swine flu because the entire family, apart from my daughter, Rashi (8), was sick by that time,” said Kishnani. When he realised that swine flu was a possibility, Kishnani immediately went to a lab in Ulhasnagar for a throat swab test. By that time, both, his son Sumit (7) and wife Sneha (38) had taken treatment from the same doctor and their condition had improved.

Kishnani, meanwhile, was waiting for the lab results, which came back positive for swine flu on February 21. “My nose had begun bleeding that morning. I also had severe headache and constant cough, after which I was a little concerned about my health.

Since the results came back positive the same day, I immediately consulted my family physician and she advised me to go to Fortis Hospital in Mulund for treatment,” he said. Doctors there admitted Kishnani in the ICU ward of and started treatment.

As his wife and son had a fever recently, the doctors asked the entire family to get tested as per hospital protocol, and all four tested positive for H1N1. “Mohan exhibited symptoms of cough, breathlessness, and nose bleed. He was kept in the ICU ward for two days and was later shifted to the isolation ward. Sneha, his wife, who accompanied him to the hospital, was also tested as per our protocol and was found positive.

She, too, was kept in the isolation ward for two days. While both the children were quite stable and didn’t show symptoms, the tests revealed that they were positive for swine flu. Thankfully, they were diagnosed early and received treatment before their health deteriorated,” said Dr Pradip Shah, head of infectious diseases at Fortis, Mulund.

Lesson learnt
The children were treated on OPD basis, but the doctors suggested that the family stay home till the domestic quarantine period (five days) was completed, to allow them to recuperate and ensure that they do not catch the swine flu virus again from a contagious area. The Kishnanis were on Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) tablets till then.

The family members completed the period and are completely cured, and the doctors said that this was because they had approached the hospital in time, which allowed the medication to work faster. “I always thought that my family and I were relatively immune to such outbreaks since I am a chemist and have experience in the medical field. Now, however, I have realised that we are also equally vulnerable and should take proper care,” said Kishnani.

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