India reports two more swine flu cases, total 14 (Lead)

June 11th, 2009 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Goa, June 11 (IANS) Two more cases of swine flu have been reported in India, taking the total influenza A(H1N1) cases in the country to 14, health officials said here Thursday.
In New Delhi, a 41-year-old woman who arrived from New York June 5 has been tested positive, while in Goa, a man who arrived from London via Germany has tested positive.

The woman, a resident of Delhi, has been quarantined and kept in the isolation ward of the Ram Manohan Lohia (RML) Hospital, the official said.

“The woman was admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms June 6. Her tests reports came today and they showed that she has the flu,” N.K. Chaturvedi, the medical superintendent of RML hospital, told IANS.

He said a 17-year-old student from Boston tested positive Wednesday. His 61-year-old father has been quarantined in the RML hospital after he showed flu-related symptoms, he said.

The official said a French national is also admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms. “The reports of the 61-year-old man and the French national are awaited,” Chaturvedi said.

“So far we have 12 confirmed cases. In Goa and in Delhi, one case each has been reported. This takes the figure to 14. We are just reconfirming it again,” an official of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) in New Delhi told IANS.

Goa Health Secretary Sanjiv Srivastava said in Panaji: “One person who arrived in Goa from London via Germany has been identified as a confirmed case of swine flu.”

The patient has been admitted to the isolation ward of the Chicalim cottage hospital, he said.

Health authorities in Goa, a leading tourist destination in the country, have also sent samples of another man, exhibiting symptoms of the disease, for testing.

Another person was taken to the Goa Medical College, near capital Panaji, as the 21-year-old showed some symptoms of the disease, after alighting from a flight from Sharjah.

“The blood samples of the patient have been taken and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for examination,” health officials said.

Health authorities have screened nearly 10,000 incoming passengers at Goa’s Dabolim airport since the outbreak was first reported internationally.

Of the 14 cases, seven are from Hyderabad, four from the national capital, two in Chennai and one in Goa. Hyderabad also reported the first case in the country May 16. The patient has been discharged from the hospital after treatment.

What is worrying health authorities is that two human-to-human cases have come to light.

With more and more cases being reported in the country, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad wrote to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna saying that swine flu-affected countries should be urged “to screen outbound travellers at airports”.

“Otherwise we would be burdened with a large number of cases which may subsequently spread the diseases in our community,” Azad said in the letter Tuesday.

A health ministry official said: “We expect a substantial inflow of Indian students returning for the vacations. In this regard, the health ministry wrote to the external affairs ministry to prevail upon affected countries, especially the US, to screen passengers who are showing symptoms of the illness.”

According to the World Health Organisation, 27,737 people in 74 countries have been infected with the virus so far. A total of 141 people have died since the outbreak of the disease. Most of the deaths occurred in Mexico, where the disease was first reported.

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