Bird flu: All seven patients test negative | india | Hindustan Times
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Bird flu: All seven patients test negative

THE CULTURE test conducted on the seven patients admitted to the Manorama Raje Chest Centre with suspected avian influenza has turned out to be negative as per reports of the investigations conducted by National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Delhi.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 13:35 IST

THE CULTURE test conducted on the seven patients admitted to the Manorama Raje Chest Centre with suspected avian influenza has turned out to be negative as per reports of the investigations conducted by National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Delhi.

The patients were discharged and allowed to leave for their homes in Khandwa district. MGM Medical College Head of Department and Professor of Community Medicine Dr Sanjay Dixit said that block medical officer of Mortakka in Khandwa district adjoining the bird flu infected Burhanpur district had referred the seven patients after they had developed severe flu-like symptoms subsequent to eating a cooked meal of chicken.

Although they were put in the ‘likely’ category, the case was not taken lightly and blood samples were immediately sent to NICD for investigation. NICD Joint Director (microbiology) informed the authorities concerned in Indore over telephone about the blood culture test results showing negative for H5N1 virus.

The doctors at the Centre after receiving the information in the morning broke the news to the patients and their relatives (most of them unlettered) who had been worried over the nature of the malady. The patients were discharged later in the afternoon.

Strict segregation of the patients was maintained by keeping them in a separate ward and even their family members were not allowed entry after a team of doctors that had arrived from the NICD advised against the same. These doctors would leave for Delhi tomorrow.

Centre in-charge Dr Atul Kharate said that the patients had consumed chicken 15 days before they were spotted and sent to Indore. As the gestation period of the virus was about a week the chances of their having the affliction was minimal. The patients also did not suffer from fever and their X-ray had revealed no congestion in the chest, all of which were sure signs of influenza.

However, the outbreak of bird flu in the country and its recent penetration into the State had heightened the level of health surveillance and even likely cases such as these are not being taken trivially.

Dr Dixit said that the quick reaction health teams constituted in each district of the division had been instructed to handle likely cases at their own level and not spread pandemonium by referring patients as suspects before running tests and ascertaining symptoms to their level of satisfaction.

Patients suffering from avian influenza and particularly in a serious condition would face difficulty in breathing arising from congestion in lung cavity and require a ventilator.

Although each medical college in the State had such equipment, the district hospitals in Khandwa and Burhanpur, most suspected of being likely harbingers of the virus, were also supplied the same.