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RML discharges flu suspects

Allaying fears that the dreaded swine flu may have already entered India, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital has decided to discharge the two passengers it had kept under observation in the isolation ward, reports Jaya Shroff Bhalla.

delhi Updated: May 02, 2009 23:06 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla

Allaying fears that the dreaded swine flu may have already entered India, Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital has decided to discharge the two passengers it had kept under observation in the isolation ward.

Their initial tests had confirmed negative for influenza A (H1N1) virus that causes swine flu. Doctors at the hospital said the two had been hospitalised for precautionary measures and to ensure that there is no relapse of flu-like symptoms.

One man who has been quarantined is a 35-year-old from London and had arrived in Delhi on Saturday morning. He reportedly developed symptoms of flu in the flight.

The second was a Ghaziabad resident, 25, who went to RML Hospital on his own yesterday evening after reading reports about swine flu.

“The man from UK will be discharged by tonight and the Ghaziabad resident will most likely be discharged tomorrow morning,” said N.K. Chaturvedi, Medical Superintendent at RML Hospital.

“The Ghaziabad resident arrived in India on April 19 but developed fever and other symptoms like runny nose and sore throat around April 23, which lasted two days. After that he has had no fever but the cold persisted. Clinically we are convinced that he has no symptoms of H1N1 flu,” he added.

Both the men had been kept under observation in the isolation ward. Their samples sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) tested negative.

“While the 35-year-old London-based Indian was brought to the hospital directly from the Indira Gandhi International Airport early this morning, the 25-year-old Ghaziabad resident got himself admitted last evening,” said Chaturvedi.

Chaturvedi added that two other passengers travelling from Chicago were brought to the hospital on Saturday evening suspecting flu symptoms.

“The husband, who is suffering from terminal liver failure, had symptoms and was tested. Reports of all three have come in and they are negative.”

So far NICD has tested six samples — three from Delhi and three from Hyderabad — and the results for all were negative.