With 2 deaths, Bengaluru in the grip of H1N1

Deccan Chronicle.  | Joyeeta Chakravorty

Nation, Current Affairs

The deceased were from Marathahalli and Whitefield, Of the 141 suspected cases, 31 test positive.

Grip of H1N1

Bengaluru: Two H1N1-related deaths have been confirmed in Bengaluru, less than a couple of months into 2017, according to information obtained from the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and the department of Health and Family Welfare.Dr Prakash Kumar, Joint Director (CMD) Directorate Health and Family Services, said numbers are likely to go up in March, adding that cases have increased in all four Southern states.

“Two deaths have been confirmed and the deceased were from Marathahalli and Whitefield. The more recent was that of  39-year-old Vidya, who was admitted to Manipal Hospital for treatment, but passed away in the first week of February because of multiple organ failure and pneumonia,” he confirmed.  In 2016, the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases reported five deaths due to the H1N1 virus. Only two months into 2017, however, the Institute has screened some 141 suspected H1N1 cases out 31 have tested positive and two deaths have already been confirmed. Last year, out of the 381 suspected cases screened, only nine were positive.

 “We are seeing a spike in the number of H1N1 cases compared to last year, which was relatively low. We have already reported one death, wherein the H1N1 victim was brought into the hospital on Endotracheal intubation, which is like artificial respiration and could survive only a few hours post admission,” said Dr Shashidhar Buggi, director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases who stressed that timely diagnosis and high-levels of caution might mean the difference between life and death as far as the H1N1 virus is concerned.

“The case was being diagnosed elsewhere and the patient was brought here at the last minute. The remainder of the patients have recovered completely. Death only occurs when the case has been neglected or unidentified,” he stressed.
 According to reports shared by the department of Health and Family Welfare department, 141 positive cases in the city have resulted in two confirmed H1N1 deaths. Statewide statstics don’t look much better. 324 suspected-H1N1 cases have been reported across Karnataka, with three confirmed deaths.

The first death was confirmed by the health and family Welfare department which received information from the Death Audit committee. Speaking about surveillance and prevention, Dr Kumar added that the health department is adequately equipped to handle H1N1 cases. “Logistics is not an issue as we have enough stock of anti-viral drugs and conducting surveillance wherever possible cases are being reported and there are enough tamiflu tablets,” he added.