Andhra on alert following swine flu deaths

August 10th, 2009 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 10 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh, which reported the first swine flu case in India, is on alert to check the spread of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus that has affected 74 people in the state and claimed six lives in the country.
Health Minister D. Nagender told reporters Monday that the health authorities were fully alert and all precautionary steps were being taken to ensure that the virus does not spread. He asked people not to panic in view of the deaths reported from Pune, Mumbai and Chennai.

The state has so far reported 74 H1N1 cases but no one has died of the virus. The majority of the cases were reported in Hyderabad while five cases were found in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam.

The minister said all international air passengers were being screened at the airport here and anybody found with visible symptoms of H1N1 were being quarantined at two nodal centres.

Nagender said five more nodal centres would be set up to deal with swine flu cases in the state.

Hyderabad reported its first swine flu case May 16. Over 240,000 passengers were screened at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here since the last week of April.

“A total of 221 people underwent tests for swine flu and 74 of them tested positive,” said the health minister. While 72 people were discharged after treatment, two persons are undergoing treatment atthe Government Chest Hospital here.

Doctors said samples of 18 people found with suspected symptoms of swine flu were sent to the National Institute of Disease Control (NIDC), New Delhi, and the results were awaited.

Health officials said bus and railway stations would have help desks to identify those coming from Pune in Maharashtra with suspected symptoms of swine flu.

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