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US the basic source of swine flu: Azad

india Updated: Jul 10, 2009 19:55 IST

IANS
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The basic source of most of the swine flu cases detected in India is the US besides other developed countries, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Friday.

The health minister informed the Rajya Sabha that Indian missions abroad have been requested to take up the matter of screening outbound passengers with the respective governments.

"The government of India took a series of actions. A comprehensive plan including guidelines and standard operating procedures were put in place. Travel advisory was issued to defer non-essential travel to the affected countries,” Azad said.

He said till July 7, a total of 153 swine flu cases have been reported in the country. “All the laboratory confirmed cases are put on anti-viral therapy,” he added.

"As of now, there is no community spread of influenza A (H1N1) virus in the country and government hospitals can provide treatment facilities,” the minister said.

Delhi tops the list of cities with 42 people having been tested positive for the flu. It is followed by Bangalore where 27 people were detected with the virus.

In Hyderabad, 19 cases of the flu were reported, while in Mumbai about 10 cases have been detected, the health minister told the Rajya Sabha.

He said till July 7, about 11 human-to-human transmission cases have been reported in the country - six from Delhi, two from Bangalore and one each from Hyderabad, Gurdaspur and Gurgaon.

Azad said a patient in Delhi detected with swine flu had refused to stay in a city hospital, and had asked for “home treatment”. His mother, who was taking care of him at home got infected with the virus.

Following this incident, the Delhi government invoked the Epidemic Act, which provides for hospitalisation of such cases.

As on July 6, he said, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported 94,512 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection from 135 countries. There have been 429 deaths worldwide, mostly from Mexico and the US.

"Three Indian manufacturers -- Serum Institute of India in Pune, Panacea Biotec in Delhi and Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad -- have the capacity to manufacture vaccine. The Drug Controller General has issued license to import seed virus to these manufacturers,” Azad said.