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H1N1 cases rise to nine in Northeast

Security personnel wearing mask to protect themselves from Swine flu virus in Guwahati on Sunday. (EP)
Published on 17 Aug. 2009 12:12 AM IST
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Four more cases of swine flu were reported in Shillong on Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the northeast to nine. With this, the total number of swine flu cases in Meghalaya has risen to five, while Mizoram reported two cases and one each from Assam and Manipur. The Meghalaya government has rushed health officials to New Delhi to seek assistance. Hospital authorities in Shillong said amongst the four cases, one was a ward boy at the Shillong Civil hospital Dolshelsius Syiemlieh (27). The second case was Mariabiang Latang, a young boy getting training at the Sport’s Authority of India (SAI) complex. The other two cases are J Lyngdoh, a class seven student from St. Edmund’s School and R Lyngdoh, a student who recently arrived from Pune, Maharashtra. “Some of these patients are being treated in hospital and some in their residence and have been quarantined,” health and family welfare minister Dr Mukul M Sangma said. He said that people coming from outside the state must voluntarily undergo medical test to prevent the spread of the virus. “People should come and test if they have visited any states recently for their own good,” Dr Sangma said. The first case was detected on August 11 when a Meghalayan footballer Salvit Tongper tested positive of the virus after returning from UK on August 3 from a football training with the Arsenal Football Club. Of the four cases, three -- Syiemlieh, Latang and J Lyngdoh contracted the H1N1 virus through Tongper, while R Lyngdoh was believed to have been infected with the virus while in Pune, hospital authorities said here. In Mizoram, the throat swab samples of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and an army soldier were also found to be positive on Saturday. The CRPF constable was posted at the Lengpui Airport, Mizoram’s lone airport while the army soldier had recently come to Aizawl from New Delhi after a holiday. A 19-year-old Manipuri woman fencer and a 21-year-old student in Guwahati had tested positive for the swine flu disease earlier this month. The Manipuri fencer had returned from a competition in Singapore while the student, from Pune, was in Guwahati to see his sister. Both of them are now under treatment in Imphal and Guwahati respectively. Several teams of experts from the central health ministry are now visiting the northeastern states to impart training to doctors and to supervise the treatment facilities available in these states. “Following the direction of the union health ministry, one hospital in each district of the seven northeastern states has been equipped to treat patients infected with H1N1 virus,” said A.C. Dey, one of the experts from New Delhi.

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