H1N1 claims four lives in Tiruchi since onset of monsoon

Four admitted to hospital, two patients test positive

With a 43-year-old woman of Karur succumbing to H1N1 influenza on Friday night, the number of persons who died of swine flu since the onset of northeast monsoon in Tiruchi region has gone up to four, raising concerns among the public and health authorities.

While two of them died at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Medical College Hospital (MGMGH) here, one person succumbed to the virus at the Thanjavur Medical College. Another person had died at a private hospital in the city.

Of the four victims, two were from Tiruchi and one each from Ariyalur and Karur districts. The first case of swine flu was reported on November 11 since the onset of monsoon. Of the four, three are women. Chandra, who was the latest victim, was admitted to the MGMGH on Wednesday. She had earlier received treatment for high fever, cold and breathing difficulty for about five days in a Karur hospital.

Meanwhile, three persons were admitted in MGMGH and a private hospital in Tiruchi with the symptoms of swine flu. Swab test confirmed that two of them, Lalith Kumar (40) of Officers’ Colony in Puthur and Muthuraja (49) of Woraiyur, are afflicted with swine. The result of Siva (25) of Perambalur was awaited. Lalith Kumar had returned from United States about 10 days ago.

Almost all the patients were referred to the medical college hospital from the private hospitals only after they developed respiratory distress. They were brought to the hospital with ventilator support.

“The patients with the suspected H1N1 influenza were admitted to the hospital in advanced stage of the infection, after being treated for fever in private hospitals for four to five days. Chances of quick recovery are bright if the patients with breathing difficulty approach the medical college hospitals for treatment at the early stage as we have high class laboratory with standard treatment facilities,” said M.K. Muralidharan, Dean, MGMGH, Tiruchi.

Asking people to avoid handshakes and crowded places, he said the infection could be contained if people washed their hands frequently and upon returning home after visiting public places.

Tamiflu stock

Mr. Muralidharan said the MGMGH had a stock of 7,000 Tamiflu tablets. All doctors, who treated H1N1 patients and their contacts, were given the tablets as a precaution.

I. Raveendran, Deputy Director of Health, said the infection seemed to be more virulent in the current season than in January. It was important for patients to get quality treatment at medical college hospitals as early as possible.

“Chances of quick recovery are bright if patients with breathing difficulty approach medical college hospitals at an early stage”

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