Ahmedabad/Pune/Chennai: The highly infectious H1N1 virus claimed its first victim in Gujarat when US-based NRI Pravin Patel (43) succumbed to the contagion at 1.15am on Sunday. This is the fourth death due to swine flu in the country. Unlike Pune and Mumbai, where the patients had contracted infection from a secondary source within India, Patel died of an infection he probably carried from the US.
Indicative of the rising numbers, Pune reported 43 fresh H1N1 cases on Sunday — three of whom have been put on ventilator — while the condition of an infected four-yearold Chennai boy turned critical.
Patel’s wife Naina, who too has tested positive, is in the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad. Doctors say her condition is stable but she has not been told about Patel’s death.
The couple run a store in Atlanta and had landed in Ahmedabad on July 31 to spend a month with the family. They took a Lufthansa flight from Atlanta to Mumbai and then came to Ahmedabad by Air India. Their three teenage children stayed back in the US to attend school and Patel’s mother is with them.
Patel was admitted to a private hospital after he developed breathlessness and high fever on August 5. On August 7, when his condition deteriorated, he was referred to Civil Hospital where the couple tested positive for swine flu.
He was transfused four bottles of blood to keep up haemoglobin levels but his lungs were too badly damaged. After a round of last-ditch treatment advised by AIIMS doctors who were consulted, he died soon after midnight.
‘‘Had the screening team at the airport been more careful, they could have warned him. My brother would have been alive if there was more vigilance at the airport,’’ said Patel’s elder brother Dashrath, who was hosting the couple.
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AHMEDABAD | In first NRI death from swine flu in India and 4th overall, Pravin Patel, 43, dies early Sunday morning. Wife Naina too infected. Patel ran store in Atlanta (US) and came to India on July 31
Patel’s relatives say he had slight fever and cold when he landed in Mumbai but wasn’t properly screened. As NRI visits increase manifold in the post-monsoon months, authorities brace for a sharp rise in number of cases
CHENNAI | Condition of 4-year-old infected boy deteriorates. His brother and 2 neighbours test positive
PUNE | 43 new cases in Pune. A 13-yr-old girl, 55-yr-old woman and a 35-yr-old man put on ventilator. Condition of city doctor and chemist still critical
Sanjay Kokre, 42, a Pune teacher who died of H1N1 on Saturday, was allegedly denied initial medical screening at city’s Naidu hospital. Even after his throat swab was taken, he was asked to go home
SINGAPORE | Shachi Shukla, 27, a former journalist from Nagpur, dies of H1N1 influenza in Singapore, where she had moved with her family a year ago
launches national flu website today. It’ll track all H1N1 cases, give statewise updates and help you identify the nearest swine flu screening centre
13 more patients tested positive on Sunday, including 5 schoolkids
Total Cases In City:
228 40 fresh flu cases reported in Pune
Ahmedabad/Pune/Chennai: Relatives of US-based NRI Pravin Patel who succumbed to H1N1 flu on Sunday are distraught. ‘‘Screening at the airport is non-existent. They just touched my forehead to check fever and said go!’’ said Patel’s uncle Bhikhu Patel, who recently arrived from New Zealand, and spoke to Praveen some time before his death.
Gujarat health and family welfare minister Jaynarayan Vyas said that the death should not create panic. ‘‘We are monitoring the situation closely. I respect feelings of the relatives of the deceased. The virus must not have manifested as symptoms, otherwise it would have been detected by the doctors,’’ said Vyas.
Pune, meanwhile, continues to be a major cause for worry. Sunday was the third consecutive day on which the city has reported more than 40 positive cases. With this, the number of H1N1 cases from the city has reached 247.
The National Institute of Virology (NIV) received 436 throat swab samples on Saturday and more than 600 on Sunday. ‘‘The NIV received six throat swab samples of patients with severe breathlessness from private hospitals in the city on Sunday,’’ said an NIV official.
While in Chennai, a fouryear-old admitted in Mehta Hospital turned critical. Three others who came in contact with him have also tested positive for H1N1.
The Velachery school, where the boy studied, has shut down for a week amid concerns about the spread of the infection. The state health department has called for emergency meetings with multiple agencies on Monday to put in place strategies and resources to counter the pandemic.
source: Times of India
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