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H1N1 cases rise to 20
Published on 15 Jun. 2009 12:49 AM IST
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With swine flu slowly spreading in India, a 17-year-old boy in Delhi and a woman and her daughter in Bangalore have tested positive, taking the number of confirmed influenza A(H1N1) cases in the country to 20, health officials said Sunday evening. “The teenager had arrived from Orlando to Delhi via New York on board Qatar Airlines QR 231 flight and was quarantined at the Delhi Airport June 13. The boy was traveling with a group of 31 school children from Jalandhar. The Punjab government has been requested to follow up these children,” the health ministry said here in a statement. A 29-year-old woman and her three-year-old daughter from Bangalore have also tested positive. They had arrived in Bangalore by the Air France Flight AF 192 from the US via Paris June 12. “The mother and child reached Bangalore Friday from New Jersey. Tests confirmed Saturday night that they are infected with the influenza A (H1N1) virus,” S. Buggi, director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases in Bangalore, told IANS over phone Sunday. The health ministry here said the mother-daughter duo complained of fever and cough and reported to an identified health facility June 12. Their family and social contacts are being traced and put on treatment (chemoprophylaxis), ministry officials said. With the number of swine flu patients in the country on the rise, the ministry held a meeting Sunday with experts from the World Health Organisation and NICD. “There is nothing to panic and all necessary medicinal requirements are there with us. We are taking all measures,” a ministry official said adding that the meeting took stock of the situation. Meanwhile, four members of a family in Chandigarh who interacted with a swine flu-infected relative in Delhi have been quarantined as a precautionary measure. A middle-aged couple and their son had gone to Delhi June 9 to receive their daughter who was arriving from Australia. The four also met a relative at the airport who had come from the US the same day. They spent the night at a friend’s home in New Delhi and left for Chandigarh June 10. The relative who had arrived from the US exhibited swine flu symptoms and tested positive for the influenza A(H1N1) virus at a hospital in New Delhi June 11. The ministry informed Chandigarh authorities about the flu case. “We have quarantined the family. Our doctors are examining them twice a day,” Chandigarh nodal officer for swine flu H.C. Gera told IANS. “We have told the family to remain indoors for the next one week and also inform their friends and relatives to stay away for this period. Although they have not shown any symptoms of swine flu, we do not want to take any chances,” Gera said. So far the city has received four suspected cases of swine flu but all of them were found negative to the A H1N1 virus after being tested at the NICD. “Yesterday (Saturday) evening we received another case of a woman from a Haryana town with flu symptoms. She has been admitted in an isolation ward in a government hospital in Sector 16 and her blood samples have been sent to Delhi for tests,” said another health official in Chandigarh. At least eight students from a private school in Punjab’s Jalandhar city were under the scanner after authorities found that one of their classmates had tested positive for the influenza A(H1N1) swine flu virus. If confirmed, this would raise to 28 the number of swine flu cases in the country. The eight Punjab patients were part of a group of 31 students and three teachers of the Guru Amar Das Public school who had gone to New York and Florida on an educational trip to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). School principal Tarlochan Singh said one of the boys who was running a fever and showing other signs of influenza was admitted to a government hospital immediately after the group landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi international airport Saturday. “At least eight students are displaying swine flu like symptoms. We have moved them to an isolation ward at the civil hospital and advised them and their families against mixing around with others,” said health official P.P. Sandhu, who examined them. On Saturday, a 20-month-old boy from Hyderabad tested positive for the influenza A (H1N1) virus, a day after his six-year-old sister was confirmed with the infection. According to the WHO, which has declared swine flu a pandemic, 74 countries have officially reported 29,669 cases of the influenza A (H1N1) infection, including 145 deaths.

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