Mother-child infected with swine flu, India’s cases at 19 (Lead)

June 14th, 2009 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) Swine flu continues to spread in India with two more people - a 29-year-old woman and her three-year-old daughter who arrived from the US - testing positive, taking the number of confirmed influenza A (H1N1) cases to 19, officials said.
“The mother and child reached Bangalore Friday from New Jersey. Tests confirmed Saturday night that they are infected with the influenza A (H1N1) virus,” S. Buggi, director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases in Bangalore, told IANS over the telephone Sunday.

“We have notified the test results to Delhi (the health ministry). The mother and child are in isolation ward and under medical treatment at our hospital,” he added.

According to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, a third case is yet to be notified. “We are yet to notify another test and the sample is under test for confirmation,” said Sashi Khare, head of virology at NICD.

With the number of swine flu patients in the country on the rise, the health ministry held a meeting Sunday with experts from the World Health Organisation and NICD.

“There is nothing to panic and all necessary medicinal requirements are there with us. We are taking all measures,” a ministry official said adding that the meeting took stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, four members of a family in Chandigarh who interacted with a swine flu-infected relative in Delhi have been quarantined as a precautionary measure.

A middle-aged couple and their son had gone to Delhi June 9 to receive their daughter who was arriving from Australia. The four also met a relative at the airport who had come from the US the same day. They spent the night at a friend’s home in New Delhi and left for Chandigarh June 10.

The relative who had arrived from the US exhibited swine flu symptoms and tested positive for the influenza A (H1N1) virus at a hospital in New Delhi June 11.

The health ministry informed Chandigarh authorities about the flu case. “We have quarantined the family. Our doctors are examining them twice a day,” Chandigarh nodal officer for swine flu H.C. Gera told IANS.

“We have told the family to remain indoors for the next one week and also inform their friends and relatives to stay away for this period. Although they have not shown any symptoms of swine flu, we do not want to take any chances,” Gera said.

So far the city has received four suspected cases of swine flu but all of them were found negative to the A H1N1 virus after being tested at the NICD.

“Yesterday (Saturday) evening we received another case of a woman from a Haryana town with flu symptoms. She has been admitted in an isolation ward in a government hospital in Sector 16 and her blood samples have been sent to Delhi for tests,” said another health official in Chandigarh.

On Saturday, a 20-month-old boy from Hyderabad tested positive for the influenza A (H1N1) virus, a day after his six-year-old sister was confirmed with the infection.

According to the 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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