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Swine flu scare in India, 2 under observation

TimePublished on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 09:59, Updated on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 15:40 in Health section

DEADLY FLU: According to WHO, 365 people across the world have been afflicted with the flu.

DEADLY FLU: According to WHO,  365 people across the world have been afflicted with the flu.

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New Delhi: The Swine flu scare has hit India. Two persons have been kept under observation at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in Delhi.

One is a 25-year-old man from Ghaziabad who came back from Texas on April 19. The other is a 35-year-old UK citizen who walked into the hospital on Saturday morning complaining of H1N1 infection like symptoms.

A woman aged 30, her 20-month-old child as well as an American tourist are also under observation at the hospital.

Reports say five persons were admitted to Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.

While a few have already been discharged, the hospital has not confirmed the Swine flu infection for the man from Ghaziabad as well as the tourist from UK, which would take another 24 hours.

"We had five samples one from Hyderabad, four from Delhi, all are negative. We have an isolation ward with 30 beds, 20 round the clock doctors - including a physician, ENT, anaesthesist, peadeatric and microbiologist. We have 1,000 tamiflu pills both for patients and doctors who caome in contact with them," said RML's medical superintendent N K Chaturvedi.

"The man was subjected to screening for swine flu symptoms at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) and found to have a running nose, cough and throat irritation. He was admitted to the isolation ward of the hospital. We have collected his clinical samples and they have been forwarded to the laboratory for tests," he was further quoted by news agencies as saying.

Meanwhile, the Government is trying to locate 2,000 people who have travelled to India from Mexico in the last few days. The Health Ministry feels that going by their travel itinerary, these are people who are likely to be infected.

And although WHO has confirmed that the H1N1 A influenza is a respiratory infection that is not spread by eating pork, several luxury hotels and restaurants are not taking chances. Delicacies like pork chops, spare ribs, bacon and sausages will remain off the menu until the flu fear subsides.

WHO has also said that the virus does not pass through food cooked above 70 degrees Celsius, or cold meat that is frozen below 20 degrees Celsius.

According to the World Health Organisation, about 365 people across the world have been afflicted with the deadly flu.

WHO Spokesperson Ashok Moloo says that cases of the seasonal flu might be adding to the Swine flu scare because the symptoms are similar.

"We are in level 5 of pandemic alertness and there are signs of spreading. Our laboratories have unconfirmed cases. It's similar to the seasonal flu, so those who have such symptoms are adding up to the influenza numbers," he said.

NEXT PAGE: Flu Dos and Don'ts

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