Swine flu: Chennai boy's condition critical

  • mr.venkatesh@hindustantimes.com, Chennai
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 09, 2009 16:56 IST

A four-year-old boy testing positive for swine flu in Tamil Nadu’s capital city is in a “very critical” condition on Sunday, even as ten more fresh cases came up for blood tests for the ‘pandemic’ at the textile city of Coimbatore, nearly 500 km from Chennai.

While Chennai faces the grim prospect of the first possible fatality of ‘H1N1’ virus, doctors treating the school boy from Velacherry, a residential suburb in the southern part of the metro, told reporters here this afternoon that his condition is “very critical but stable.”

The boy (names not disclosed as per WHO Norms), who already had been suffering from a “multiple organ failure” had suddenly developed swine flu symptoms on Thursday last and the tests confirmed positive for ‘H1N1’ virus on Saturday, the Director of Medical Education, S Vinayagam, told HT in Chennai on Sunday.

The “very sick” boy is presently on ventilator and doctors are “trying their best to save him,” Vinayagam said, adding, a public health team has been sent to the Velacherry area in the city to see if this was only an isolated case or whether the virus was beginning to affect the local community there.

In Coimbatore, in the last three days ten persons had voluntarily come to the Government Hospital there to “exclude” a swine flu possibility after taking ill, Dr V Kumaran, the Hospital Deal told HT when reached in the textile city over phone. The latest included two Engineering college girls who on return from a picnic to Kochi in Kerala had returned yesterday to Coimbatore.

Both the girls have been admitted to the Government Hospital in Coimbatore and their blood samples sent for testing, Dr Kumaran said. So far, since the virus started manifesting in a noticeable scale in Coimbatore, blood samples of 28 patients had been sent for testing, of whom four cases have tested positive for the virus so far, he said.

One person who returned to Coimbatore from Saudi Arabia recently had tested positive for the disease and was responding to treatment at the Hospital, Dr Kumaran said.

As the hospital has only limited beds to treat such cases, other patients with suspected symptoms of swine flu “are being house quarantined with all precautions taken,” Kumaran said, adding, a Deputy Director of Public Health was personally monitoring all cases of house-quarantined patients. The quarantined patients have been asked to wear three-layered masks and those nursing them ‘N95 masks’, he said.

This morning, a lady IT professional after a visit to Mumbai, on return to Coimbatore “out of fear for the disease” had volunteered to give her blood samples for testing, Kumaran pointed out. The blood samples of another 10-year-old school girl in Coimbaore has been sent for re-testing as the first results seemed doubtful, he added.


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