H1N1: Health Dept. confirms five deaths since March

Published - October 11, 2018 10:24 pm IST

The State Health Department on Thursday confirmed that five persons, including a pregnant woman, had succumbed to H1N1 since March this year. Of the five deaths, three are from Bengaluru.

While three died in October, one person died in August in the State-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD). The other death in March was reported in a private hospital on Old Airport Road.

S. Sajjan Shetty, Joint Director, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), said the first death in the institute occurred on August 27 when a pregnant woman from East Bengaluru referred by a private hospital succumbed to the infection. “We reviewed the situation on Thursday at a meeting chaired by the Principal Secretary (Health) and the deaths have been confirmed following a death audit. There is another suspected death in Mandya, but we are yet to get the reports,” he said.

According to RGICD Director C. Nagaraj, all the four patients who died in the institute had developed co-morbid conditions. “But their primary infection was H1N1. Currently, we have five suspected cases admitted in our institute of which two have tested positive,” he said.

Following Thursday’s review meeting, the Health Department has directed all District Health Officers to procure the required logistics and medicines in the separate ward earmarked for H1N1 patients. “There is no need to panic as the State is well prepared to handle the situation and adequate stock of drugs are available in all hospitals,” said Dr. Shetty.

According to a note from the department, all flu-like illness are not H1N1. It can also be due to Influenza B virus and H3N2. Sample collection for testing is available in all the district and taluk hospitals, and tests are done free of cost. The State has fixed ₹2,500 for each test in private laboratories, and any laboratory charging more than the fixed amount will be liable for action, the note said.

There has been a sudden spurt in the number of H1N1 cases in Karnataka since September and 441 persons have tested positive from January till October 10. According to statistics from the State Health and Family Welfare Department, the highest number of positive cases (99) have been reported from the BBMP limits. The number of positive cases have also increased in Shivamogga, Dakshina Kannada and Chikkamagalur districts.

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