Pre-existing symptoms add to the complication

Mumbai victim was suffering from diabetes and hypertension

 
 The Mumbai victim had diabetes and hypertension in addition to H1N1 flu.

However, doctors in the City pointed out that the pre-existing illnesses in the patient would have made her more prone to contracting pneumonia or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in addition to the H1N1 influenza.

Dr Raviraj, Resident Medical Officer, Lakeside Hospital, said, "The doctors are instructed to arrest the viral load of H1N1 influenza in the throat level itself and then immediately put the patient on medication. However, when a patient has a pre-existing illness like diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) like asthma or lung infection, liver diseases, etc, the patient's immune system is compromised. As a result, the patient may find it difficult to breath and can die of pneumonia or ARDS," said Dr Raviraj.

Reason

He stressed that people need to understand the reason of death. There is a difference between 'patient died of H1N1 influenza' and 'patient died with H1N1 influenza', he said. Hence, a patient suffering from ailments in addition to H1N1 influenza have to be given Tamiflu for another 10 days, while simultaneously treating on the other illnesses.

Other medical conditions

RGICD Director Dr Shashidhar Buggi, said, "The complication occurs when the patient has other associated medical conditions like diabetes, asthma or any other respiratory disorder. The condition worsens when such a patient also tests positive for H1N1 influenza."

He further added that due to the present anxiety patients with mild or absence of H1N1 symptoms are visiting the Institute.

"Hence, we are not able to concentrate on the serious cases," said Dr Buggi.

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