Tuesday, January 20, 2015

53-yr-old man is first H1N1 victim this year in Chennai

CHENNAI: A 53-year-old man from Mannady died at the Government General Hospital on Monday night after he was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. This is the first H1N1 death recorded in the city this year.

P Sreenivasan, a resident of Mannady near Parry's Corner was a railway employee. Three weeks ago he went to Secunderabad for a training session and returned to the city on December 26. Within a few days, he developed cold and sore throat. He took treatment at a clinic located on Katchaleeshwarar Street. When the symptoms worsened with fever, he got admitted to Apollo Hospitals on Greams Road on January 16.

"Initially he improved, but suddenly his temperature increased considerably. Within a day he developed pneumonia and his condition took a turn for the worse," said a doctor at the hospital. Blood samples sent for analysis confirmed that Sreenivasan was suffering from H1N1. He was shifted to Government General Hospital on January 18.

"He came in with severe respiratory failure," said GH dean Dr R Vimala. He was given Tamiflu and treated for the H1N1 virus, but he died on Monday night as his immunity was severely compromised." The patient's body was handed over to the family the same night.

Sreenivasan's relatives no official from the public health department or Chennai Coporation visited their house in the past 24 hours to check if anyone who was in contact with the patient has picked up the virus. "We are planning to go to a private hospital and get the tests done and take medicines," said Sreenivasan's sister-in-law. A corporation health officer, however, denied this. "Our team has been camping at the man's house. We will test the relatives for the virus," he said.

Dr S Balasubramanian, joint director at the directorate of public health said that there was no cause for panic as H1N1 has been declared as a seasonal flu. "WHO has declared that it is not an epidemic. Only elderly people whose immunity is severely compromised should be cautious if they contract the virus," he said. Stating that this was the third H1N1-related death in the state, Dr Balasubramanian added that the health department has enough stock of Tamiflu, the standard drug to treat the condition.

"So far the state has recorded 23 positive cases of H1N1 this year. We have advised all those who have prolonged cold to approach a doctor and take Tamiflu tablets," Dr Balasubramaniam said.

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