23 swine flu cases, India says situation under control (Lead)

June 15th, 2009 - 4:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Hyderabad, June 15 (IANS) Three more people were confirmed to have been infected with influenza A(H1N1) Monday, taking the total number of swine flu cases in the country to 23. However, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the situation was under control as 11 people had recovered.
“Medicine is available in plenty and the most important thing is that this disease is 100 percent curable. Out of total 23 cases, 11 have already been treated and discharged. So you are only left with 12 cases,” Azad told reporters in New Delhi.

He said that keeping in mind the size and population of the country, 11-12 cases was nothing as compared to the huge numbers most developed countries have reported.

In Hyderabad, two sisters aged eight and four, and a 45-year-old woman were late Sunday confirmed to be infected, taking the total number of cases in Andhra Pradesh to 12, the highest in India. The confirmed cases include five children.

The two children and their mother arrived in Hyderabad from New York June 10 by Indian Airlines Flight IA-140. Their mother is among five air passengers kept under observation for suspected symptoms of swine flu.

Doctors at the Andhra Pradesh Chest Hospital said the samples of the suspected cases, including two children had been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in New Delhi.

Health officials said they would also screen passengers of IA-140 who sat three rows in front and three rows behind the two girls and their mother.

The 45-year-old woman, who also tested positive late Sunday, is staying in the hospital along with her 20-month-old grandson who was confirmed to be infected Friday.

Authorities have also sent the samples of the grandfather of a six-year-old girl who tested positive last week. He has been staying with the girl in the hospital.

Four air passengers who were admitted to the Chest Hospital Sunday with suspected symptoms of swine flu include a nine-year-old boy who arrived from New Jersey and a 43-year-old woman who came from Kuwait. A six-year-old girl who arrived from Minneapolis June 12 and a 27-year-old man who came from New York are also under observation.

With the three new cases, the number of patients undergoing treatment at the hospital rose to six. Six other patients were treated and discharged from the hospital.

Health officials said all the infected persons came from abroad, majority of them from the US. However, a local youth contracted the flu from his brother, a techie who arrived from Philadelphia May 31. Three of his co-passengers were also found infected.

Meanwhile, the state authorities are set to launch an exclusive interactive voice response (IVRS) facility on influenza A(H1N1). The IVRS facility, to be inaugurated later Monday, will provide information and clarify doubts among the general public with regards to the flu.

The IVRS has been developed by the CEO of Voicegate Technologies Syed Mohammad, whose son Syed Rehan recently recovered from swine flu.

A Jalandhar student who had tested positive for swine flu is undergoing treatment in a Delhi hospital.

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