Mumbai sees the first swine flu death in the city of the year after a one-and-a-half-year-old child succumbs to infection. The child, a Worli resident, died on April 29 at Kasturba Hospital. According to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), he was admitted to a private hospital before being shifted to Kasturba Hospital in a critical condition.
More than 125 people have died due to swine flu in the state and 700 cases have been reported since January this year. While most of the swine flu cases have been reported from Nashik, Pune, Ahmendnagar, Kolhapur, Solapur and Pimpri Chinchwad, Mumbai has only reported 21 cases since January, said a BMC health official.
“The child had symptoms of swine flu like vomiting and fever since April 11. He was admitted to a private hospital on April 18 and was shifted to another private hospital on April 21 after he developed breathlessness,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer, BMC.
She said after his condition started worsening, he was transferred to Kasturba Hospital and kept on ventilator support, but succumbed to the flu on April 28.
“He died of acute respiratory distress syndrome, along with sepsis, which is a known complication of swine flu,” said Keskar.
As a precautionary measure, BMC has visited 765 houses and screened close contacts of the child for swine flu symptoms.
“Seven people close to the child were screened but no one had swine flu symptoms. The area where the child resided will be kept under surveillance for 10 days,” said Keskar.
While swine flu cases are generally associated with winter and monsoon, doctors are surprise with swine flu death in the city.
“Influenza is a those category of people where risk is higher than other population and children are one of them, because their immunity is not that well developed and that when children have symptoms of influenza it is more important that you getting them diagnosed properly and start the treatment without any delay. Children need to care very carefully during this period,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, consultant for infectious diseases.
“We had a huge epidemic of swine flu two years ago and there were a lot of cases and deaths, both among children and adults. In between, swine flu had completely vanished from the city. However, there was an epidemic occurring in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, along with other places. What unusual thing we have observed is in children with swine flu cases in Mumbai this time is that they are having vomiting and loose motions along with breathlessness, cough and fever,” said Dr Mukesh Sanklecha, Consulting Paediatrician Pulmonologist, Bombay Hospital.