H1N1 toll six after death of Pune doctor, Chennai child


Chennai/Pune : A 35-year-old ayurvedic doctor in Pune and a four-year-old boy in Chennai died of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus early Monday, taking the toll of the viral disease to six in the country.

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Baburao Mane, an ayurvedic doctor who worked in Pune’s slum areas, had been admitted to Pune’s Sassoon Hospital five days ago and had been on the ventilator for three days.

Four-year-old Sanjay Balakrishnan had been admitted to a private Chennai hospital last week with fever and diarrhoea and tested positive for the flu on Saturday.

Giving details of Mane’s death, Sassoon Hospital dean Arun Jhamkar told reporters: “When Mane was brought here he had developed pneumonia in both lungs. In addition, he also had acute respiratory distress syndrome. Owing to this, oxygen did not reach his blood and his blood pressure plummeted. His condition worsened and he did not respond to medicines. He died at 7.20 a.m. today.”

At present six more swine flu patients are in critical condition at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Four are on ventilators, Jamkar said.

Sources at Chennai’s Neta Hospital, where Balakrishnan was admitted, said the boy had been hospitalised with fever and diarrhoea last week. Later, he was diagnosed with kidney failure and chest congestion.

On Sunday, he suffered multiple organ failure and was put on ventilator. The boy died Monday morning and is the first swine flu death in Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary V.K. Subbaraj told reporters that the residential area where the boy lived had been desanitised and there was adequate stock of the drug Tamiflu.

“The area where the boy lives is where 100 more families are living…we are sanitising the area. There is enough stock of Tamiflu in the state,” Subbaraj said.

India’s first swine flu victim was 14-year-old Reeda Shaikh who died Aug 3.

On Sunday, the union health ministry had said the total number of people infected by the virus in the country was 864. Of these, 523 have been discharged from hospital.