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Boston teen,NY woman test positive for swine flu

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases tested two cases of H1N1 influenza positive on Wednesday.

Written by Vidya Krishnan | New Delhi |
June 11, 2009 12:50:35 am

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) tested two cases of H1N1 influenza positive on Wednesday.

One,a 17-year-old student from Boston,has been isolated at RML Hospital,while a 25-year-old woman from New York is quarantined at Lok Nayak Hospital.

Four persons have so far tested positive for H1N1 influenza in Delhi,and reports of two others are awaited.

NICD director Dr Shiv Lal said samples of the teenager’s immediate family members were also sent for tests. Twenty members of his family,in Delhi to attend a wedding,have been put on chemoprophylaxis treatment,he said.

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“We have given everyone doses of Tamiflu and will monitor their condition closely for the next seven days,” Dr Lal said.

On Wednesday,the teenager’s father complained of sore throat and fever and was isolated at RML Hospital.

Dr Lal said the 25-year-old New York woman’s first sample has tested positive at NICD. “We have sent a second sample to the Pune laboratory,” he added. The test results of the second sample from National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune will be given to NICD by Thursday afternoon,he said.

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Criticising the authorities for their “delay”,Suresh Gaur,a Central Administrative Tribunal judge and relative of the family,said: “There has been delay in informing us and giving us preventive treatment. This shows the government is ill-prepared to handle an outbreak. When I,as a judge,could not stir them into action,the common man is likely to suffer (more) if the government does not show urgency.”

But Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia insisted there is no need to panic: “We have informed doctors and medical superintendents to ensure patients and their families are not harassed for want of information. All government hospitals are prepared to handle any contingency.”

Meanwhile,experts say the precaution of getting all travellers screened at exit in H1N1 flu-affected countries may not be enough,for incubation period of the virus is “up to seven days”.

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“It has been seen in most cases that the virus struck a person on the second or third day after his/her return to India,” a senior Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) official said. “This means even if people who have tested positive for the virus (in India) were screened while flying out of flu-affected countries,the results would have not been known then.”

Of the positive cases so far,only three have been quarantined after they showed swine flu-like symptoms on arrival at Indian airports,the official said.

Cases at RML hospital
* A French tourist (test report awaited)
* An Indian businessman from New York
* Businessman’s mother
* Teenager from Boston
* Teen’s father (test report awaited)

Case at LN Hospital
* 25-year-old woman from New York

(With inputs from Teena Thacker)

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First published on: 11-06-2009 at 12:50:35 am

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