Many patients in critical condition due to H1N1 flu

Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital recently admitted many patients infected with the H1N1 bird flu, who were all in critical condition. One week prior to the Tet holiday, a flu-infected pregnant woman succumbed to acute respiratory failure and pneumonia and died along with her twin fetuses in the hospital, Nguoi Lao Dong Online reported.

A doctor checks up a male patient, 51, who is infected with the H1N1 influenza virus and receives medial treatment at Bach Mai Hospital 

The 31-year-old, who was 24 weeks pregnant, was earlier admitted to the hospital with common flu symptoms such as a running nose and sneezing. Her condition quickly deteriorated despite two weeks of intensive medical care, said Associate Professor Dao Xuan Co, head of the Intensive Care Department at Bach Mai Hospital.

Two other male patients who tested positive for the H1N1 virus are reportedly in critical condition at the hospital, including a 64-year-old man from Hanoi who was previously diagnosed with high blood pressure. He had a running nose, fever, cough and chest pains six days before being sent to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and received medical treatment but did not recover. He was then admitted to Bach Mai hospital for respiratory failure and losing consciousness.

The other man, 51, from Hanoi also suffered from respiratory failure and diabetes. The prognosis for both was dim despite the intensive medical treatments, Dr Co said.

The H1N1 flu can cause death by attacking lung cells and causing respiratory failure if infected patients do not receive medical treatment quickly, particularly among pregnant women, elderly patients or those who have chronic diseases such as kidney failure, diabetes or alcohol addiction, according to Associate Professor Tran Dac Phu, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine at the Ministry of Health.

The H1N1 virus can survive for 24 to 48 hours on a table or cabinet surface and up to 12 hours on clothing. Also, it can survive for four days in a water-based environment at 22 degrees Celsius and up to a month at zero degrees Celsius.

The H1N1 flu can spread from human to human through the respiratory system and saliva. Therefore, flu-infected people should cover their mouths while sneezing, coughing and washing their hands to avoid spreading the disease to others, in addition to having medical treatment.


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