Swine Flu Scare: Patient Dies At SKIMS

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SRINAGAR: A swine flu patient breathed his last at the SKIMS here on Monday, anxiety gripping his native locality in the Tulla Mulla area of Gandarbal.

The condition of Ghulam Hassan Wani had gone undiagnosed on three successive visits to the SKIMS – where, incidentally, he was an employee – after first complaining of running nose, cough, and fever, Nazeer Ahmad Bhat, a close relative of the patient, said.

Authorities at the SKIMS were initially reluctant to comment on the case, but later the institute director, Dr. Shaukat Ali Zargar, confirmed the swine flu (H1N1) death, and advised against panic and fear.

A team of doctors, including the chief medical officer (CMO) of the district, today visited Wani’s locality in Tulla Mulla, askig his family members to undergo medical examinations.

Asserting that the SKIMS was fully capable of treating swine flu patients, Dr. Zargar said that symptoms like common cold, cough and fever should be got promptly investigated.

According to the patient’s relatives, Wani was admitted to the SKIMS on January 27 only after he coughed blood at home.

As on two previous examinations, doctors at the institute had sent him home with medication the previous day as well, Wani’s relative Nazir Ahmad Bhat said.

After being taken as an indoor patient, he had been kept in an isolated room.

It was not clear how or where the patient had contacted the virus.

The first cases of the prevailing strain of the virus, categorised since as H1N1, were reported in the US in 2009.

Experts say the strain is different from the one that spreads in the porcine species.  

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