A mother and her male child from the textile city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, the first two cases in India who have tested positive for ‘swine flu’ disease, were on Tuesday swiftly put on treatment at an isolated, quarantined block of the Government Medical College Hospital in Coimbatore.
“We got the result confirming the presence of the ‘H1N1 influenza virus’ on these two patients, a 34-year-old woman and her 5-year-old male child, from the National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD), New Delhi, this morning and we have immediately started the treatment with the prescribed medicines,” the Hospital’s Dean, Dr Kumaran told HT over the telephone.
The two patients - whose names are strictly not to be disclosed as per the GOI directives, along with another girl child had flown into Coimbatore via Chennai on their return from Boston on May 28. "Since the son had symptoms of swine-flu, his Mother also checked," after reaching Coimbatore , about 500 km west of Chennai, he said.
Stating that this treatment will go on for a month now, Dr Kumaran said there will be post-recovery follow-up as well. Interestingly, the lady’s female child who had also travelled with them had tested negative for this virus.
Samples of the patients’ blood, throat swab and nasal swab, as required under the International procedures, were taken and air-lifted immediately to NICD, Dr Kumaran said and added there was no cause for alarm. The family had returned home via Dubai .
The other 50-odd domestic passengers who had travelled with this family from Chennai to Coimbatore that day in the same flight will also be checked by the Public Health Authorities in the textile city as a matter of abundant caution, Dr Kumaran said.
In the past two weeks, as many as seven suspected cases of swine flu had been reported from Coimbatore, all air-borne passengers returning home from abroad, mainly US. On May 20, a mason who hails from a village near the textile city, had flown in from Sharjah to visit his family but was immediately taken to the ‘quarantine place’ on the advice of the Coimbatore Airport medical officer.
In the form given by the flight crew before landing to ascertain details about every passenger’s recent medical history, as part of the nationwide checks initiated at all entry airports in the country, the mason had mentioned fever and cough on and off. This had prompted the Airport Medical officer to refer him for being quarantined.
A couple of days earlier two others who had flown into Coimbatore, including an MBA student from New Jersey, US, who came home for a holiday, and his mother were also suspected to be carrying swine-flue symptoms. But when they all tested negative as certified by the NICD after their samples were also air-lifted to Delhi for tests, they had all been discharged from the hospital.