Seven Punjab students with swine flu under constant observation

June 16th, 2009 - 12:57 am ICT by IANS  

Jalandhar (Punjab), June 15 (IANS) The seven students from Punjab who have tested positive for influenza A (H1N1) have been kept in isolation wards and are under constant observation while the test reports of two other students who had exhibited flu symptoms are awaited, officials said here Monday evening.
Deepak Bhatia, nodal officer to tackle swine flu, said four other people who had travelled on the same flight along with the students from the US have exhibited swine flu symptoms and are being monitored.

He said a special four-member team of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has arrived here to monitor the situation.

Nine students had been quarantined at the civil hospital in Jalandhar after one of their classmates tested positive for the virus in New Delhi. Of the nine, seven have tested positive and the reports of two are awaited.

The students were part of a group of 31 students and three teachers of the Guru Amar Das Public school that had gone to New York and Florida on an educational trip to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

“Those students who were discharged earlier after medication have been instructed to remain inside their homes for two-three days,” said Bhatia.

The students had arrived on a Qatar Airlines flight.

The boy who tested positive for the virus in New Delhi is a Class 12 student. He was admitted to a Delhi hospital Saturday immediately after he landed at the Indira Gandhi International airport with symptoms of swine flu.

“We have got reports that four people who were on the same flight have also shown similar symptoms. Among them, two are from Kapurthala and one is from Bathinda in Punjab, while one is from Kangra town in Himachal Pradesh. The concerned health authorities have been informed about them,” said Bhatia.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Monday directed the state chief secretary to gear up all the government medical colleges and hospitals to effectively tackle the problem of swine flu in the state.

“On the directions of Badal, elaborate arrangements have been made at all the civil hospitals at the district headquarters,” a government spokesperson told reporters in Chandigarh, around 150 km from here, Monday.

He added, “Apart from nine patients in Jalandhar, two more patients with the symptoms of swine flu are admitted at the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar.”

Punjab Principal Secretary of health and family welfare A.S. Talwar Monday visited the civil hospitals in Jalandhar and Amritsar and reviewed the suspected cases.

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