Nine Doon School students, a premier boarding school for boys, have tested positive for swine flu. The school has suspended classes till Saturday and many anxious parents have taken their sons back home.
Dr Pankaj Jain, an officer for the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, a government initiative to track communicable and non-communicable diseases in the state, said: “Five students of the school tested positive for swine flu (on Tuesday). We immediately provided medicines for students and the staff.”
On Wednesday, the toll rose to nine as four more students were confirmed positive for the disease. Director General (Health) Dr. PL Joshi confirmed four more cases in the school.
Doon School authorities, however, said only one student had been infected. Headmaster Peter McLaughlin said: “Only one boy tested positive, but we immediately quarantined all boys with flu-like symptoms.”
Spooked by this news, many parents reached Dehradun on Wednesday morning and took their sons back home.
The school also immediately set up a quarantine ward and roped in additional medical staff. Some boys were given Tamiflu on the advice of medical authorities.
On September 5, the school had sent throat swab samples of 10 boys and staff to the National Institute of Communicable Disease, New Delhi. On Tuesday, the results declared five students as positive for swine flu. The figure reached nine on Wednesday.
“From the very beginning we have worked with the state of Uttarakhand's medical authorities and kept the parents of our students informed of the situation,” said McLaughlin.