Siddhesh Inamdar

Her mother is H1N1-infected; “looks like placental transmission of virus”

PUNE: A female child born to a 22-year-old H1N1-infected woman at the Sassoon General Hospital here has tested positive for swine flu, making her the youngest patient to contract the virus.

Speaking to The Hindu, medical superintendent P.S. Pawar said, “A throat swab was taken immediately after delivery on Sunday and sent for testing. It looks like transmission of the virus was placental [within the womb]. However, it needs to be confirmed.”

The condition of the three-day-old girl, who weighed 2.46 kg at birth, was now stable. Since Monday she had been given 12 mg of Tamiflu syrup twice a day. However, she continued to remain in the special Intensive Care Unit for swine flu patients.

Her mother, Karishma Shaikh, continued to be on non-invasive ventilator. Dr. Pawar said her condition was critical but improving.

Ms. Shaikh of Indapur in Pune district had cough and fever on December 5. She was admitted to a hospital in Indapur on December 7. After she developed breathlessness, she was moved to the Sassoon Hospital on December 10 and immediately put on Tamiflu. A Caesarean section was done on December 13.

Dean Arun Jamkar told The Hindu that a pregnant woman infected with H1N1 need not necessarily transmit the virus to her child.

On Tuesday, Varsha Satav (27) of Wagholi in Pune gave birth to a male child. She developed fever, cough and breathlessness on December 2 and was admitted to the Sassoon Hospital on December 5. Though she was H1N1-positive, her son tested negative.

In another case, Dr. Pawar said, the child of a H1N1-infected woman tested negative for the virus on two earlier occasions as well. “It differs from case to case,” he said. “In this case, there might have been an intermixing of blood or transmembranal spread of the virus.”

Meanwhile, the swine flu situation in Pune continues to worsen. Three more people died of the infection on Tuesday.

As per the latest records, the district accounted for 134 deaths out of the 247 in Maharashtra. Ten patients were on ventilator in different hospitals in the city.

On Tuesday, 765 suspected cases were given Tamiflu as against 241 on Sunday. The number of people admitted to hospitals, too, saw a jump from 47 on Sunday to 92 on Tuesday.