One more swine flu case in India, total 17 (Lead)

June 13th, 2009 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderdabad/New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) A one-and-a-half-year-old boy tested positive for swine flu Saturday, a day after his six-year-old sister too was confirmed as being infected by the influenza A (H1N1) virus, taking the total number of cases in India to 17.
“A total of 17 swine flu cases have been reported, 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.

According to health officials, the girl had arrived from New York with her parents and brother at Hyderabad June 9.

While the parents have tested negative, the Hyderabad hospital that carried out tests on the brother confirmed that he had swine flu.

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

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Thursday raised its alert against swine flu to the highest level - Phase 6. The swine flu pandemic is the first since the Hong Kong flu pandemic in 1968, which killed one million people.

Of the 17 cases in India, nine are from Hyderabad, five 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, officials said.

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

Their blood samples have been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) to test for influenza A (H1N1).

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, the 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.

The man had come to India June 2 and had gone straight home from the airport. He had refused to get admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital despite being tested for swine flu. The virus got transferred to his 60-year-old mother who was looking after him.

This was the first case of human-to-human transmission of the swine flu in the national capital and the second in the country. The first such case was reported from Hyderabad.

Officials said the mother and son had refused to be admitted in the hospital and demanded “home quarantine”. However, on Wednesday night they were bought to the RML Hospital. Hours later, they left on their own without informing the hospital authorities.

They were later admitted to another hospital.

Officials said there was no need for panic as adequate steps are being taken.

According to the World Health Organization, 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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