Kerala reported its second swine flu death with a patient, who was admitted to a private hospital in Kochi four days ago with fever and severe respiratory illness, succumbing to the illness on Wednesday.

Two people have now succumbed to the viral disease in the State. The 44-year-old patient, Jijamma, a resident of Karakkadayil House, Elenji, Ernakulam, passed away at 3 p.m. in Amritha Hospital on Wednesday. She was referred to AIMS from Karithas Hospital, Kottayam with a history of fever for three days and respiratory illness, after treatment at a local clinic as out-patient.

According to the Additional Director of Health Services, (Public Health), the patient was in a serious condition with high fever and respiratory distress on arrival at the Amrita hospital at 1 a.m. on August 24. She was put on ventilator in the ICU with a ‘presumed diagnosis of suspected H1N1’. Bronchial washings were sent to Kasturba Medical College, Manipal for laboratory test.

Tamiflu, and intensive care was given immediately but the condition of the patient did not improve despite the treatment given for the next three-and-a-half days. ‘The result of the test was obtained from Manipal on phone at 11.45 p.m. on Wednesday as positive’, the Additional Director said.

All public health activities, including contact tracing, preventive treatment and other steps, initiated earlier by the District Medical Officer, Ernakulam, are being continued. A health team from the local health centre is in contact with the family of the deceased for giving advice and support regarding safety precautions.

On August 11, 33-year-old Wilson Lukose of Vettucaud, who was admitted to KIMS hospital in the city with severe respiratory distress, had succumbed to the illness. Health Department officials said all small hospitals, private clinics and doctors should follow the guidelines issued by the department regarding prompt reporting and referral of cases of high fever and severe respiratory illness.

Keywords: Swine FluA(H1N1)H1N1

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