Swine flu outbreak, hitherto restricted to Pune, seems to be gradually spreading to western Maharashtra.
As many as 17 school students from Panchgani near Mahabaleshwar were tested positive, while 7 new cases were added from Pune on Monday.
With this, Pune’s total swine flu cases stands 56, while the state so far has seen 90 cases. But there was no fresh case beyond Pune and Panchgani.
A group of students from Panchgani’s St. Peters School had gone the US to visit NASA as a part of study tour in April this year. After returning, swine flu symptoms were found among 34 students. Their blood samples were sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), which finally confirmed the disease among 17 students.
School superintendent Sunil Bobade said, “All those who tested positive have recovered, yet we have kept them under surveillance in school’s highly equipped hospital.”
“Administration is taking utmost precaution of situation since Panchgani is not only an international tourist centre, but also has number of residential schools,” Satara Zilla Parishad chief health officer Dr Vijaysinh Mohite said. “However, keeping in mind that all the positive students have recovered, the administration has decided not to shut down St. Peters school.”
This is the first incident in western Maharashtra in which suspected patients of swine flu are found beyond the limits of Pune city.