A 48-year-old woman died of swine flu at the Sahyadri Hospital here on Wednesday, while three more patients continue to be on ventilator support in various city hospitals. Apart from these cases, there are 10 patients who have been diagnosed positive for the H1N1 virus, district health officials said. This is the fourth death in Maharashtra due to the virus this year, and the first in Pune.

Increased precaution

Confirming the death, State swine flu surveillance officer Pradip Awate said that while these were “sporadic cases,” precautionary measures were being stepped up. “The victim was also diagnosed with pancreatitis, so the immunity level was already low. There are three more patients who are critical in the city. We are taking the current scenario very seriously. There is no need to panic, but people should not ignore infections such as common cold.”

Soham Bhatavdekar, Manager (Operations), Sahyadri Hospital, said the victim, who hailed from Baramati, was admitted three days ago, and was diagnosed with the virus. “She was kept in isolation, and was on ventilator for two days after she developed ARDS [Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome]. The cause of her death is the influence of H1N1.” Dr. Bhatavdekar said reluctance to approach the doctor despite persisting cold and cough might be the reason for the H1N1 infection reaching the last stage.

The three patients on ventilator support are a 51-year-old rickshaw driver, a 30-year-old woman who delivered a baby last week, and a six-year-old girl.

A National Institute of Virology survey has brought two more cases to light.