Swine flu claims one more life, death toll reaches six this year

Representative image KOLKATA: A 62-year-old woman from Kestopur, who tested positive for H1N1, died on Wednesday morning, taking the swine flu death toll this year to six in the city. Officials of the health department, however, maintained that there has been only one swine flu death this year. Madhumita Das was being treated for swine flu at state-run ID Hospital in Beliaghata over the past three days. "My mother’s swab samples were tested and HINI infection was confirmed on Monday. Along with swine flu, she was suffering from kidney ailments," said son Dipan Das. The senior citizen from Kestopur was suffering from renal failure, for which she was on regular dialysis. She was admitted to a north Kolkata nursing home in the first week of February due to her failing health. The family shifted her to another private hospital on February 13 after her health showed no signs of improvement. She had to be put in ICU as her condition kept deteriorating.

On Sunday, the doctors sent her swab samples for H1N1 tests. Once the reports reached the hospital, the family was asked to shift the patient to another hospital. Das was shifted to Beliaghata ID Hospital on Monday morning. According to ID Hospital sources, the patient died due to multi-organ failure. "She was in a bad shape when she got admitted her. Making the treatment all the more difficult in her case was other comorbid condition the patient," said the source.

The first reported swine flu death in the state this year was that of a 10-month-old child, who died at the Institute of Child Health on January 23. Since then, four other H1N1 positive patients have died, the last one being Snehalata Das (85), who passed away in a private hospital in Salt Lake on February 12.

According to doctors, the swine flu season is from May to August. The virus starts circulating by May, thrives during monsoon and retreats by August-end. The disease lingers for few more months and sporadic cases are reported. "But what has been happening currently seems to be more than sporadic cases. Instead of hushing up the cases, health officials should accept the scenario and work on fighting it out," said a Swathya Bhawan source.

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