Swine flu claims fourth victim in state

An elderly woman who died last week and a doctor who had taken ill after attending to a swine flu patient have tested positive for H1N1 infection, raising the death toll to three in Jamshedpur and four across Jharkhand.

By Our Bureau
  • Published 24.03.15
  •  
Kantilal Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Bistupur where the elderly woman died on March 20. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Ranchi/Jamshedpur, March 23: An elderly woman who died last week and a doctor who had taken ill after attending to a swine flu patient have tested positive for H1N1 infection, raising the death toll to three in Jamshedpur and four across Jharkhand.

Chilu Rani Dutta (75), a resident of Kadma, had been admitted to Kantilal Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Bistupur on March 19 with acute pyrexia or high fever and bilateral pneumonia, an infection that affects both lungs. She was on life support in the isolation ward, but breathed her last on March 20. The report of her swine flu confirmatory test arrived from Calcutta this morning.

Tata Main Hospital (TMH) doctor Sudeshna Ganguly (34), who also tested positive today, has almost recuperated. The doctor had looked after 29-year-old Jai Lal Jaiswal who died on March 9 and was among the first three victims of the contagion, the others being a 40-year-old mother of three in Ranchi and a 55-year-old woman in Jamshedpur.

Two others - a 20-year-old man at a private nursing home in Khunti and a 35-year-old security force jawan from Chatra at RIMS - are currently being treated for swine flu. They had tested positive last week.

East Singhbhum district officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) Sahir Pall said four throat swab samples from Jamshedpur had been sent to Calcutta-based National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases on March 19 and 20.

"The reports came this morning and two were positive. One of the patients died last Friday," confirmed state director of IDSP Dr Ramesh Kumar.

The two who tested negative today are a 28-year-old woman from Purulia (Bengal) and a 35-year-old man from Jamadoba (Dhanbad), both admitted to TMH.

According to a general physician at Medica-managed Kantilal Gandhi hospital, Chilu Rani Dutta had been administered oseltamivir soon after her admission on March 19. "But, she had other underlying illnesses and drugs taken for rheumatoid arthritis had made her immunity very low. She did not survive the infections," he said.

IDSP officer Pall said the TMH doctor would be discharged soon. "She is stable and has fully recovered (from swine flu). Since she had no other ailments, oseltamivir worked for her. She had contracted the disease while treating a young man (Jaiswal) who died later."

Pall stressed on awareness. "We need to step up our campaign against swine flu. The administration has put up posters and hoardings at strategic points and today I have requested Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco to do the same in company command areas. Loudspeaker campaigns will help," he said.