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2 H1N1 patients serious at SMHS

Srinagar, Jan 07: Three more patients including a woman died of swine flu at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura, taking the death toll to seven this season.

Doctors at SKIMS told that two patients including an elderly woman died of H1N1 flu three days back while another 55-year-old male patient lost the battle to swine flu on Sunday.

With three more deaths, the death toll due to swine flu this season has risen to seven.

The viral infection returned to Kashmir in early October last year and number of patients testing positive for the viral respiratory infection is increasing.

Medical Superintendent, SKIMS, Dr Farooq Jan said at least 36 H1N1 patients were admitted at the institute.

“Many of them were discharged after treatment at the isolation ward,” he said.

Jan said seven patients died of the H1NI1 virus this season. “Most of them had comorbidities like cancer and also H3N2 (subtype of viruses causing influenza)”.

He said in last three months about 120 swine flu positive patients have visited the outpatients department at SKIMS.

This seasons’ first death by swine flu was reported at SKIMS in the first week of October when a 60-year-old man of Shopian died.

The medical superintendent said the situation was better than 2017. “We are better prepared and vaccinated employees especially at high-risk departments like ICU and emergency.”

“Vaccines are available for people at the drug counters. Isolation wards are ready and we are well equipped to handle emergencies,” he said.

A swine flu expert at the institute said influenza was seasonal flu and it would come every year.

Advising people not to panic, he said, “People must consult doctors and don’t take the anti-influenza drug on their own”.

Jan said in previous season (2017-2018) eighteen patients had died due to the flu but this season the deaths have declined.

A doctor at SMHS Hospital said that they have received three positive cases of H1N1 in the past week.

“Of the three cases two patients are critical,” he said.