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First swine flu case in Meghalaya

Nurses at the Shillong Civil Hospital wear protective masks after a patient suffering from swine flu is being treated in Shillong on Tuesday. (EP)
Correspondent SHILLONG, AUG 11:
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Published on 12 Aug. 2009 1:12 AM IST
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Seventeen-year-old footballer from Meghalaya, Salvit Tongper became the first victim of influenza A (H1N1) virus in the North East, while the test result of another patient with symptoms of the deadly flu was awaited Tongper who had returned to India from London on August 3 after football training with his other teammates has been suffering from fever and respiratory problem for the last one week, tested positive for H1N1 virus, Tuesday, Meghalaya Director of Health Service (DHS) Dr K H Lakiang said. He is among the 16 Indian young footballers chosen by the Arsenal Football Club in association with Tata Tea for training and competition in London. Three of the boys were from Shillong including Tongper. Concerns were being expressed on what happened to his other team mates. Tongper was not sure whether he had been screened or not for swine flu symptom when he landed in India. Dr Lakiang told reporters here that the footballer complained of runny nose, cough and sore throat - all suspected to be symptoms of swine flu. His nasal and throat swab samples was sent to the National Institute for Cholera and Enteric Diseases, (NICED), Kolkata where he was tested positive with the virus, Dr Lakiang said. Another person, Gauranga Paul who had just returned from Bangalore was admitted last night to the Shillong Civil hospital with symptoms of swine flu. His nasal and throat swab samples has been sent to NICED, Kolkata, for further examination, the DHS said. In order to prevent spreading of the virus, Dr Lakiang has instructed the doctors in the Shillong Civil Hospital to contact his family members who had close contact with Tongper and accordingly collect their nasal and throat swab samples, for examination. Dr Lakiang said that separate facilities have been created in Shillong Civil hospital to treat patients infected with the virus. “Separate doctors meant only for treatment of influenza have also been put in place,” he said. Earlier, 36-year-old Raj Khan and Kunti Limbu, who were also admitted in Shillong Civil hospital with flu symptoms have tested negative for the A (H1N1) virus. In a weird case, Tasha Sangma, niece of state Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Mukul M Sangma, who returned from Pune reportedly absconded from the Gauhati Medical College in Assam when doctors were about to collect her nasal and throat swab samples after developing swine flu symptoms. “I have instructed the doctors to find out where she is and if needed to hospitalise her,” Dr Lakiang said. However, Tasha’s father Zenith M Sangma denied that his daughter had any symptoms of flu. “After her arrival from Pune I wanted her to go for a test, but doctors told us that she does not need to go for a test as she does not have any fever,” Zenith said. Meanwhile, Chief Minister DD Lapang has urged the people of the state not to panic, but to look out for symptoms and get treated, even as health authorities sought the cooperation of all in tackling the virus.

 
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