Swine flu death rings alarm bell

  • The first fatality this season was reported in Capital
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Swine flu death rings alarm bell

Mar 1, 2015-

A 40-year-old woman succumbed on Saturday night to what appears to be the first death blamed on A (H1N1) influenza or swine flu this season in the Capital.  

With the death, experts have urged health institutions and individuals to conduct swine flu tests on suspected patients, especially those who are already suffering from chronic respiratory diseases and showing flu-like symptoms. For others, they suggest quick medical aid and taking ample rest in case.

As the woman had not travelled outside the Capital recently, the case suggests that she might have contracted the disease within the Valley. “It is obvious that the virus is circulating in our environment as some cases of H1N1 influenza last year too had no travel history to India or elsewhere,” said Dr Arpana Neupane of Kathmandu Medical College. “Since the virulence differs in each season, strain of the virus must have become stronger this year.”

The woman, a resident of Chhetrapati and a long-time asthma patient, was admitted to Model Hospital on February 17 and was diagnosed with swine flu five days ago.

As the H1N1 cases are rising steadily, Dr Neupane calls for an urgent need for assessing the severity of the outbreak and determining if it has taken epidemic proportions. Out of the total 300 samples collected from across the country, a total of 42 patients have tested positive for the H1N1 influenza until Sunday, according to Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. Swine flu has claimed 20 lives in the country since the disease was first detected in 2009.

The A (H1N1) pdm 09 strain of influenza found in Nepal is the same one that caused a global pandemic in 2009, which according to WHO killed more than 18,000 people. Other cases of flu outbreaks in the country are suspected to have spread due to a mutant strain of the disease yet unknown.

School shut after pupils show flu-like symptoms



More than 45 students at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Secon-dary School in Gorkha have fallen ill, showing symptoms of swine flu. The school has been shut after the students--all 10th graders--fell ill simultaneously with flu-like symptoms such as breathing problem, chest pain, common cold and cough, said headmaster Dhurba Shrestha.

He added symptoms were seen in some students since the past 4-5 days and that three female students had been to Gorkha Hospital for treatment, earlier. Some more students had since been referred to the hospital. Doctors at the hospital are yet to confirm if the students had swine flu.

Following a discussion between District Public Health Office, hospital and school management, it was decided to put the students under observation for a while.

As the hospital is not well-equipped to confirm a diagnosis, a doctor at the hospital said they would refer the patients to other hospitals if their condition deteriorates. As swine flu is spreading rapidly, health workers have advised the people to see a doctor immediately if additional symptoms manifest.

Published: 02-03-2015 08:22

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