Trinidad woman dies from swine flu

Camilla Seecharan sister of swine flu victim Nicole Seecharan speaks about her sister during an interview with CNC3.
Camilla Seecharan sister of swine flu victim Nicole Seecharan speaks about her sister during an interview with CNC3.

(Trinidad Guardian) A Tabaquite woman has died from swine flu.

Rel­a­tives said med­ical of­fi­cials on­ly con­firmed Nicole Seecha­ran con­tract­ed the dead­ly H1 N1 virus days af­ter her death.

Now those who were in im­me­di­ate con­tact with the for­mer taxi dri­ver are be­ing asked to take nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions.

Seecha­ran’s death oc­curred even be­fore Min­is­ter of Health Ter­rance Deyals­ingh con­firmed that the dead­ly virus was back in the coun­try in late De­cem­ber.

Dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia, Deyals­ingh said there were 10 cas­es of the H1 N1 virus in the coun­try. How­ev­er, he did not con­firm that there were any re­cent deaths.

Seecha­ran, 47, main­ly trans­port­ed stu­dents to and from var­i­ous schools in the Tabaquite area dai­ly. It is be­lieved she con­tract­ed the virus while do­ing her job.

Guardian Me­dia spoke to her sis­ter, Camil­la Seecha­ran, at her home in Tabaquite. She said Nicole first got the flu in mid-No­vem­ber but for some rea­son af­ter it went away it kept com­ing back.

On De­cem­ber 5, Nicole went to a pri­vate doc­tor who dis­cov­ered she was a di­a­bet­ic. She again sought that doc­tor’s ad­vice three days lat­er.

Af­ter re­al­is­ing there was no change in Nicole’s health, Camil­la de­cid­ed to ad­mit her sis­ter to the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal on De­cem­ber 9. She said the fol­low­ing day Nicole was ad­mit­ted to the In­ten­sive Care Unit and two days lat­er Nicole died.

“They put on the death cer­tifi­cate is car­diac ar­rest, she was an asth­mat­ic and a di­a­bet­ic,” Camil­la said. Nicole’s fu­ner­al took place on De­cem­ber 14.

“When the body came they say don’t let no one touch the body,” Camil­la added.

A re­quest which Camil­la says got her cu­ri­ous.

Then about a week lat­er, Camil­la said she re­ceived a call from the Head Nurse at the Tabaquite Health Cen­tre re­quest­ing a meet­ing. How­ev­er, it did not oc­cur that day.

 “The Thurs­day morn­ing I re­ceived a call from Dr (San­jiv) Paras­ram he say he in the area and he want to come by me to have a vis­it. I said no prob­lem. When he came now he start­ed telling me, well you know your sis­ter died out of swine flu…be­cause they took blood and the blood went up to Port-of-Spain then it came back to Cou­va which con­tact­ed the Tabaquite Health Cen­tre.”

She al­so dis­closed that, “The head nurse at the Tabaquite Health Cen­tre told us that all of us who in­ter­act with Nicole had was to go and take the flu shot, im­me­di­ate­ly, every­body.”

She is up­set that the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal did not in­form them of the re­al rea­son for her sis­ter’s death.

“They nev­er told us that be­cause even when Nicole died there that morn­ing and they al­lowed us to go to vis­it and I hold her and hug her and cried. They didn’t tell me don’t go near her. Don’t touch the pa­tient. They did not do that,” Camil­la said.

An an­gry Camil­la added: “Ed­u­cate peo­ple on it, let them know how to take mea­sures to pro­tect them­selves. Every night I cry, I think about her and I say they could have save her they could have done more.”

Guardian Me­dia con­tact­ed Min­is­ter of Health Ter­rance Deyals­ingh who di­rect­ed us the Chief Med­ical Of­fi­cer Dr Roshan Paras­ram. Calls to Dr Paras­ram on his cell phone went unan­swered.

Re­cent­ly the Health Min­is­ter ap­pealed to cit­i­zens to get the in­fluen­za vac­cine to pre­vent pos­si­ble hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion or even death dur­ing the flu sea­son.

The sea­son runs from Oc­to­ber each year to May the fol­low­ing year.

Though the vac­cine is avail­able free of charge, health of­fi­cials said on­ly a few peo­ple availed them­selves of it.





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