20-month-old tests positive, India’s swine flu cases at 17 (Roundup)

June 13th, 2009 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad/New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) A 20-month-old boy tested positive for the influenza A (H1N1) virus Saturday, a day after his six-year-old relative was confirmed to have contracted swine flu, taking the total number of cases in India to 17, officials said.
“A total of 17 swine flu cases have been reported (in India), of which nine patients have been discharged. The rest of the patients are all stable and remain admitted to the identified health facilities,” a health official said in Delhi.

Hyderabad health authorities said the child, who had arrived from New York along with the the six-year-old girl and some other relatives in the Andhra Pradesh capital June 9, had tested positive.

This is the ninth case of influenza A (H1N1) in Hyderabad, the highest in India. This is also the third Hyderabad child to be found infected.

Both children are being treated at the Andhra Pradesh Chest Hospital, the nodal centre for dealing with flu cases.

As the children can’t be quarantined, two relatives have been allowed to stay with them.

“The grandfather of the girl is staying with her while the grandmother of the boy is staying with him. They are also being given medication and their samples are being tested,” K. Subhakar, coordinator, HINI influenza nodal centre told IANS

The relatives of the children who were travelling with them were tested negative but they along with other family members are also being given anti-viral drug as a precautionary measure as the children stayed with them after their arrival here by Indian Airlines-140 flight June 9.

The authorities have also screened 20 passengers seated three rows in front and three rows behind the infected children but none of them were found to be carrying symptoms of swine flu. They are also being given anti-viral drug oscaltamivir.

With this the number of H1N1 infected people at the hospital mounted to three. Six people have been treated and discharged since May 16. Three patients, including four-and-a-half-year old girl and her 31-year-old mother, were discharged Friday.

Subhakar said four people suspected to have swine flu symptoms have been kept under observation at the hospital. Their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Delhi for tests.

“While three people came to the hospital Saturday, the fourth one had approached us Friday,” he said.

The three who came Saturday include a 25-year-old man who arrived here from Austin June 9 by Emirates flight. He developed the symptoms of swine flu after he reached home in Nandyal town in Kurnool district. He was shifted to Chest Hospital here and his samples were sent to NICD.

Of the 17 cases in India, five are from Delhi, two from Coimbatore and one from Goa. India reported its first swine flu case May 16.

Officials said so far samples of 240 people have been tested, of whom 17 have tested positive for the flu.

On Saturday, a couple and their three children in Chennai and an American national in Bangalore were quarantined as they showed symptoms of swine flu.

The couple and their three children, who flew in from the US in the morning, were quarantined after their five-year-old daughter displayed symptoms of swine flu.

Their blood samples have been sent to the NICD.

The family was first taken to the Communicable Diseases Hospital in Chennai where tests for swine flu were done on them. The family was advised to remain in the hospital, but they refused to do so.

In Bangalore, a 37-year-old American national was quarantined and was admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases(RGICD), where four other patients, all Indians, have been admitted with suspected swine flu symptoms. The four were admitted to the institute Friday.

“The five patients are doing fine,” RGICD director Shashidhar Buggi told IANS.

In New Delhi, a 35-year-old man and his 60-year-old mother were discharged after they tested negative for the flu Saturday, said J.P.Singh, the Delhi government health secretary.

“At the moment there are three people, including two women, who are undergoing treatment,” Singh told IANS.

According to the World Health Organization (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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