The public health department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has launched a probe after a five-year-old boy contracted H1N1 infection. The thing that is intriguing the medics is that the minor has no history of travel to an affected region. Also, in the locality he resides, no H1N1 cases have been reported so far. Suspected to be the city’s first H1N1 case this year, the boy is currently undergoing treatment at a private hospital where he was admitted a week ago. According to the civic health department, the five-year-old developed cough, cold and fever in the last 15 days. “The confirmed results of H1N1 came on Wednesday. He has been given prophylactic and treatment has begun,” said Dr Minni Khetarpal, deputy executive health officer at BMC. He tested positive for H1N1 after doctors sent a sample to a private laboratory to confirm the disease.
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The boy is currently stable. However, the private school he studies in remained shut on Friday after a few doctor parents of other students advised the school committee to keep the school closed as a precautionary measure. “We have asked the school authority to inform us if any child shows any symptoms. They will be screened,” added Khetarpal. According to her, no other child has so far shown symptoms of fever or cold indicative of the infection.
Following the boy’s diagnosis, BMC officials conducted a ground door-to-door survey on Thursday in the boy’s neighbourhood to screen people for the infection. H1N1 is a viral infection that spreads through the air and can cause body pain and vomiting. The boy is suspected to be a sporadic case since he has no travel history or known contact with an affected person. No other resident in the area has so far tested positive for the disease. In 2016, the city recorded three swine flu cases, but there were no deaths due to the disease because of early treatment in most cases.
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