AT LEAST four people admitted to a Delhi hospital and tested positive for swine flu have died in the capital this year, hospital officials have told The Indian Express. These would be the first swine flu deaths reported in Delhi this year. Five more patients have tested positive for swine flu and are presently in hospital, officials added.
Doctors, however, said the cause of deaths cannot be solely attributed to the H1N1 or swine flu virus.
According to officials, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has reported four deaths this year. One of the deceased is a 35-year-old Delhi resident, who died on April 17. Doctors said he did not have “any existing comorbid condition”. “He was young and did not have a history of any other serious disease. But it is known that the infection can start inflammation inside the body and pose a serious problem. In this particular case, there could be a possibility that the H1N1 virus was the main reason behind the cause of death,” said Dr Atul Kakar, senior consultant, department of medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
“At present, we have three male patients with confirmed cases of swine flu. The patients are admitted in the department of medicine. We have two confirmed cases of swine flu admitted in department of chest,” said Dr Atul Gogia, senior consultant, department of medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
The other three deceased are two men aged 62 and 58, and a woman of 65. Two of them died in February, while one died on April 24. Sources said these patients had a history of lung and kidney diseases, besides testing positive for swine flu. “Clearly these three deaths are due to the presence of comorbid conditions. With increasing age, liver enzymes that are on a higher side, and with comorbid conditions, it increases the risk of death,” said Gogia.
Swine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease in pigs caused by one of several swine influenza A viruses. The virus can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine influenza viruses.
The Centre has said in Parliament that swine flu has claimed 160 lives in various parts of the country in the first three months of this year. Parliament was also told that between January 1 and March 26, 6,062 swine flu cases were registered. The highest number of deaths (63) were reported from Maharashtra.