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Swine flu scare at school,class shut for a week

Health officials went on an alert on Wednesday and decided to shut down a class at an English medium school in the city for a week after Naidu Hospital reported that two students,a boy and a girl,have tested positive for the H1N1 virus (swine flu).

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
July 16, 2009 2:57:28 am

Health officials went on an alert on Wednesday and decided to shut down a class at an English medium school in the city for a week after Naidu Hospital reported that two students,a boy and a girl,have tested positive for the H1N1 virus (swine flu).

The students,both 12-year-old and studying in class VII,are now undergoing treatment at Naidu Hospital. A boy who apparently passed on the infection to two of his classmates is a relative of the 16-year-old student who had travelled to the US as part of American Field Service’s exchange programme and returned to India on July 8 after a 10-month stay abroad. Of the 40 students who went for the exchange programme, — nine were from Maharashtra and five have tested positive for the flu.

Authorities have urged parents to inform the hospital immediately in case their wards have come in contact with these children at the school,located on Karve road. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) health officials have urged.the parents to take their wards to the hospital for treatment,in case they suffer from any symptoms of swine flu.

“The school authorities have been informed and there is no reason to panic. This is a precautionary measure that the health officials have taken. Prophylactic treatment will be given to whichever student or person who may have come in contact with these children,even if there are no symptoms of the flu,” Dr R R Pardeshi,chief medical officer,PMC,said. Any child with throat pain,fever and infection should be isolated and hospital authorities should be informed,he added.

Dr Pradeep Awate,in-charge of the swine flu control cell at Mumbai,said there is no need for panic as there are more than a lakh cases worldwide and most of them are of the mild variety. A patient goes home within five days of treatment. This is a new virus and hence the fear factor is high but a majority of cases are extremely mild,he added.

Pune now has 11 positive cases of swine flu,Pardeshi said.

Vaccine only in 4 months

World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the swine flu virus is unstoppable. It will take at least four months to prepare a vaccine. Serum Institute of India executive director Dr S S Jadhav said they received the strain of the virus from WHO last week and it will take another four months to prepare the vaccine.

Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr V M Katoch too pointed out that the cases are mainly from abroad and the Indian strategy is to contain the spread. It will take the government another month before it decides on how many doses of the vaccine is required.

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