Two co-passengers of swine-flu patient under observation (Lead)

May 19th, 2009 - 12:52 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Two co-passengers of a 23-year-old Hyderabad resident, who was detected with influenza A(H1N1) on his arrival from the US, have been put under observation in a government hospital after they complained of cough and sore throat.
“The passenger who had tested positive for swine flu is under treatment. Two of his contacts, who travelled in the same flight, were found to have cough and sore throat and as a matter of abundant precaution they are presently admitted in the hospital in Hyderabad,” a health ministry official said Monday.

India reported its first swine flu infection May 16.

The 23-year-old man travelled by an Emirates flight from New York to Hyderabad via Dubai. He reached India May 13 morning and was quarantined after he was found to be suffering from fever, the officials said.

Health screening of passengers coming from affected countries is continuing at 21 international airports. A total of 224 doctors and 91 paramedics have been deployed to man 76 counters at these airports.

So far, the authorities said, they have screened 676,000 passengers who had come from the swine flu infected countries.

“We have tested samples of 66 people, including the one who tested positive for Influenza A(H1N1). The rest have been found negative,” the official added.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), so far 39 countries have officially reported 8,480 cases of swine flu infection. Mexico, the epicentre of the infection, has reported 2,895 confirmed cases of infection, including 66 deaths.

Meanwhile, Emirates has clarified that the infected passenger had “declared no health issues” on his arrival at Dubai.

Emirates Vice President (India and Nepal) Orhan Abbas said in a statement that the passenger had cleared the Thermo Scan machine installed at Dubai International Airport.

“Emirates can confirm the person identified as having Influenza AH1N1 declared no health issues. Also, the passenger cleared Thermo scan machines installed by health authorities at Dubai International Airport.

“Emirates is co-operating fully with the UAE Ministry of Health and Andhra Pradesh (health authorities) by providing the necessary passenger details from flights EK202 (New York-Dubai, 11th May) and EK524 (Dubai-Hyderabad, 12th May),” the statement said.

The airline said it would cooperate with the health authorities in efforts to contact all passengers who were seated near the infected person. The cabin crew on the flight have been asked to immediately report any flu symptoms.

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