Six more swine flu cases in northeast India

August 16th, 2009 - 5:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong/Aizawl, Aug 16 (IANS) Six more people, including an army soldier and a paramilitary trooper, have tested positive for swine flu in Meghalaya and Mizoram, taking the total number of influenza A (H1N1) cases in the northeastern states to nine, officials said Sunday.
“Three of the four new patients, whose throat swab sample have tested positive, are suspected to have contracted the flu from Silvit Tongper, a 17-year-old footballer who was the first one to test positive in Shillong,” said a health department official in Shillong.

The officials said that the new patients are either friends or were in the hospital with Silvit, who had tested positive Aug 11 after returning from England.

“A woman, who works in Pune and returned to Shillong last week, also tested positive for swine flu,” an officials at the Shillong Civil Hospital said.

In Mizoram, the throat swab samples of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a army soldier were also found to be positive, said N. Pallai, director of the state health and family welfare department.

The CRPF constable was posted at the Lengpui Airport, Mizoram’s lone airport while the army soldier had recently come to Aizawl from New Delhi after a holiday.

“All the swine flu patients have already been admitted at the isolation wards of the hospitals in Shillong and Aizawl. Their condition is not that critical and there is no reason to be panicky,” said an official.

A 19-year-old Manipuri woman fencer and a 21-year-old student in Guwahati had tested positive for the swine flu disease earlier this month.

The Manipuri fencer had returned from a competition in Singapore while the student, from Pune, was in Guwahati to see his sister. Both of them are now under treatment in Imphal and Guwahati respectively.

Several teams of experts from the central health ministry are now visiting the northeastern states to impart training to doctors and to supervise the treatment facilities available in these states.

“Following the direction of the union health ministry, one hospital in each district of the seven northeastern states has been equipped to treat patients infected with H1N1 virus,” said A.C. Dey, one of the experts from New Delhi.

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