Swine flu death toll reaches six

Kathmandu, August 2

With the death of a 37-year-old woman in the capital today, this year’s toll from H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu, has reached six, stated Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of Department of Health Services.

According to EDCD, 37-year-old Sabina Thapa of Kaski district, who was admitted to intensive care unit of Green City Hospital, Kathmandu, died of swine flu in the course of treatment today.

The cause of death was confirmed by the Central Diagnostic Laboratory and Research Centre and the report of death was sent to EDCD by the hospital, according to hospital’s Managing Director Manish Dawadi.

“She was brought to our hospital in critical condition two days ago,” he said, adding that doctors at the hospital suspected H1N1 influenza and kept her in isolation. He added that another swine flu patient was also admitted to the hospital’s ICU and his condition was also critical.

A few days ago, a patient from Syangja district, who was infected with the H1N1 virus, died in the course of treatment at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.

EDCD said six people had died of H1N1 influenza this year – two from Kaski and one each from Syangja, Lalitpur, Nawalparasi and Kathmandu districts.

“Cases of H1N1 influenza are on the rise,” said Chief of Epidemiology Section of EDCD, Dr Guna Nidhi Sharma. He said EDCD feared that there could be more cases of swine flu in the coming days.

According to Dr Sharma, the EDCD does not have record of all the infected people, as doctors generally do not recommend test for all suspicious cases and they send samples of only serious patients for laboratory verification.

He said people needed to be vigilant and should immediately visit health facilities if they feared that they might have contracted swine flu virus. Dr Sharma said even those suspected of swine flu infection should   avoid handshake and hugging, stay away from crowd, and wear mask to prevent the spread of disease.

Dr Sharma said that children, elderly people above 65 years, persons who have had organ transplantation, persons with asthma and lung problems, and HIV and Hepatitis-infected persons, diabetic patients are more susceptible to swine flu.

In Syangja, EDCD Public Health Officer Resham Lamichhane and his team collected blood and throat swab samples from 20 patients suspected of being infected by swine flu from Waling and surrounding areas. Of the collected samples, six tested positive for swine flu in a test in Kathmandu today, informed Syangja District Health Office Public Health Officer Yam Prasad Sharma.