A 41-year-old woman died of H1N1 in Coimbatore, India, but the public health department refused to record it as a swine flu death.
The woman was admitted to PSG Hospitals with fever and was tested positive for the virus. Dr S Somasundaram, Deputy Director of public health said, "In the hospital, she tested positive for the virus and was administered Tamiflu for 10 days." However, authorities say the patient was suffering from asthma for months much before the virus affected her.
"During the course of her treatment for the virus, she developed bronchial asthma and her condition became worse. She was already suffering from a co-morbid condition and was put on ventilator for 12 days and died only of breathlessness," said Dr. Somasundaram.
Public health department authorities said that the patient died of adult respiratory distress syndrome and after 12 days after her course of Tamiflu was completed. "The effectiveness of Tamiflu itself is in doubt because the virus is mutated, and the strains in India are different from those abroad," said Dr P Elango, Head, Public health association of India. He said that the virus triggers asthma and creates heavy chest congestion resulting in death.
"This under recording of deaths can play a dangerous role in the country continuing to be unprepared for the virus next year as well," he added.