Infant dies after vaccination

A one-and-a-half month old girl child died at a Lucknow hospital on Wednesday, hours after being vaccinated against polio and other diseases, the Hindustan Times reported.

The child’s family said that she had no illness when she was taken to the Veerangana Avantibai Hospital where she was given her first doses of the oral polio vaccine, the injectable polio vaccine and the pentavalent for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B. She child and her family left the hospital after the immunisation. However, her father brought her back about two hours later when the doctors at the paediatric ward examined her and declared her dead.

Doctors at the hospital have contended that the same vaccines had been given to other children who did not suffer any adverse effects. However, the vaccine bottles used to immunise the infant who died have been sealed and will possibly be sent to a laboratory in Kasauli for examination. The child’s body has been sent for a post-mortem examination.

No respite from swine flu

Swine flu caused by the H1N1 virus has claimed more than 1,586 lives in India this year, according to data from the health ministry accessed by news agencies. This is six times more than the number of deaths recorded in 2016. There were 31,787 cases reported across the country till September 10. Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected state, registering 532 swine flu deaths. There have been 396 deaths in Gujarat, 141 deaths in Rajasthan and 80 in Uttar Pradesh.

Now Punjab too seems to be in the grip of swine flu having recorded 62 deaths. More than 200 people have been affected in the state and 100 new cases have been reported in just 23 days up till September 16. Ludhiana has been the worst affected district with 55 cases and 18 deaths so far.

Given the severity of the outbreak, the government has constituted a committee to identify the worst-affected areas and is reviewing guidelines for vaccination against swine flu. A health ministry official said that the aim of the exercise is to prioritise vaccination in these badly-hit areas. Currently, swine flu vaccinations are recommended for vulnerable people like pregnant women, persons with chronic illnesses and co-morbid conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and those who are immunocompromised.

Nephrologist KS Chugh dead

Dr Kirpal Singh Chugh who has often been called the “father of nephrology in India” passed away on Sunday at the age of 85. He had been suffering from a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma.

Chugh was the first medical researcher to conduct a systematic field study of kidney diseases in India, which he did in 1958 at a time when kidney disease was not recognised as a medical speciality in India. His work enabled him to become the first qualified nephrologist in the country in 1961.

Chugh later set up the first department of nephrology in India at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh and established the first super-speciality programme in nephrology.

Chugh had received many honours for his work. The United States’ National Kidney Foundation has called Dr Chugh’s contributions to the renal community in India as “most outstanding”. He was also the first Indian to receive the Bywaters Award given by the International Society of Nephrology, which included him amongst the first 50 legends in nephrology world over.