Srinagar: With increasing deaths caused due to H1N1 at SKIMS Soura, the premier healthcare institute seems to be caught in a tight spot with two more women succumbing to the infection and reportedly two being in critical condition.
So far, as per records, more than 30 patients have died at SKIMS due to H1N1, with officials at SKIMS saying that the majority among them were having one or the other sort of comorbidity, leading to the their death.
While talking to ‘Kashmir Vision,’ Dr Amin Tabish, Medical Superintendent, SKIMS said that those who died due to the H1N1 flu at the Institute were suffering from other ailments as well, “in such conditions their immune system is weak and they are not able to the fight the infection,” he said.
He however, declined to comment on the recent deaths that were caused due to H1N1 at the Institute.
Earlier, when there was a hue and cry over the increased deaths caused due to H1N1, the then Director SKIMS, Dr A G Ahanger had thoroughly briefed the press and had blamed the tertiary care hospitals on throwing the blame on SKIMS by referring patients with H1N1 who they could have treated at their respective facilities.
The flu experts who were present during the presser had warned that January and February months are going to be tough and there are full chances that more cases will be reported, however, the increased deaths are pointing fingers over the lack of preparedness of the authorities to tackle the menace.
The Institute, later started health updates on the status of H1N1 cases at SKIMS, however, it was discontinued later.
Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan, a flu expert said that while it is mandatory to report and inform public about swine flu cases, “health officials concealed them which resulted in spread of disease and increased number of deaths,” he said.
Timely reporting of flu cases, Dr Nisar pointed, is essential to prevent the spread of disease and save lives. “In that way people can take precautions and protect themselves and folks around them,” he added.
The figures so far are pointing towards a different direction, H1N1 influenza claimed 26 lives in 2015 and so far, 30 patients have already died.
The experts and several studies are revealing that the virus is mutating and is undergoing certain genetic changes, which, as per experts, may be leading to more deaths.
But an examination of the genetic sequences—or alphabet chains—of the Indian H1N1 strain reveals important changes linked to greater virulence, according to the MIT research paper in the international journal Cell Host and Microbe.
“These changes in the virus’s genetic alphabet potentially allow it easier binding and entry into human cells and more efficient transmission,” experts said.
A clue to how the H1N1 virus is evolving genetically comes from Florida, where another study discovered just such a mutation.
“Genetic changes in this virus must be monitored to predict the effect of future pandemic viruses,” the study said.