4-year-old dies in Chennai; toll reaches 6

The H1N1 death toll rose to six on Monday after a 35-year-old ayurvedic doctor and a four-year-old boy died in Pune and Chennai respectively.

Babasahib Mane is the third person to lose his life due to the H1N1 virus in Pune.

Mane was ailing for sometime and there was blood in his cough for the last couple of days, officials said.

The four-year-old Chennai boy, who was struggling for his life after a multiple organ failure and also tested positive for swine flu, finally succumbed to his diseases at a private hospital in Chennai on Monday morning.

Sanjay Balakrishnan was admitted to the hospital when he suffered kidney failure early last week. He was already a chronic asthma patient, said doctors. While at the hospital, his condition worsened, and was put on a ventilator and dialysis unit by doctors at Mehta Hospital in Chennai.

When he showed signs of the flu, samples were sent for testing to the Kings Institute which returned positive on Saturday. His health fell rapidly leading to a multiple organ failure including his kidneys and liver on Sunday. However, it is not yet clear if the virus caused his death.

“His father had gone to Singapore recently. We don’t know if he was the carrier,” said an official.

According to sources, Sanjay’s 11-year-old elder brother and two of their neighbours in the apartment complex have also been tested positive.

On Sunday, an Atlanta-based NRI and a teacher died within an hour of each other in Ahmedabad and Pune respectively.

Praveen Patel, 43, died at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad at 1.15 am. Sanjay Tukaram Kokre (42) became the second victim in Pune after schoolgirl Reeda Shaikh.

On Saturday, Fehmida Panwala (nee Patanwala), a 33-year-old housewife died in Mumbai’s Kasturba Hospital. On Sunday, another suspected H1N1 patient died at the hospital, but his test reports were not in by evening.

Patel arrived in Ahmedabad from the US via Mumbai for a vacation on July 31, and tested positive in the city. He was admitted in Sanjeevani Hospital in the Wadaj area, but was shifted to the Civil Hospital late on Friday after his condition worsened.

Patel’s wife Naina too was admitted to the hospital with swine flu symptoms the same evening. She was reported stable on Sunday.

The NRI couple’s three children aged 17, 14 and 10 are studying in Atlanta, where the family lives with Patel’s mother and the family of his younger brother, and runs a general store.

Patel had briefly consulted private practitioner Dr Bhiku Patel in the Ranip area close to his home. He was admitted to Sanjeevani Hospital on August 5 with very low haemoglobin.

Dr Nimesh Patel, administrator of Sanjeevani Hospital said, “The patient came here on the 6th with headache, fever, sneezing and cough. His X-ray detected pneumonitis. By the evening of the 7th, he developed severe breathing trouble. We contacted the state health department. He was shifted within six hours to the Civil Hospital.”

Samples have been taken from Patel’s brother and Sanjeevani staff, and those who came in contact with him at the hospital have been quarantined.

The victim in Pune, Kokre, first showed symptoms on August 1. He was admitted to Sassoon Hospital on August 7 with bodyache, sore throat and breathlessness. He was started on Oseltamivir, and was shifted to the CCU and put on a ventilator a day later. His condition, however, did not improve, and he died early on August 9.


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