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Seven tested for bird flu

SEVEN PERSONS of Khandwa district suspected to be suffering from bird flu were brought to the Manorama Raje Chest Centre today.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 12:24 IST

SEVEN PERSONS of Khandwa district suspected to be suffering from bird flu were brought to the Manorama Raje Chest Centre today.

Primary tests were conducted on the suspected patients and their blood samples were sent to the National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD) for determining whether the suspects would become the first human cases of avian flu influenza in the country.

Interestingly, though Khandwa adjoins Burhanpur where bird flu was detected, no such outbreak was reported in this district.

In stark contrast an unexpected calm and quietude prevailed at the centre where the patients belonging to Mortakka block of Khandwa district had been brought as referral cases. The peace at the centre was heightened by the fact that Health Minister Ajai Vishnoi was in the City and none from the side of health and administration had visited the place till the report was filed.

Centre Superintendent and chest specialist Dr Atul Kharate said that they were referred by the doctors of the Community Health Centre (CHC) Mortakka and were brought to the centre at about 2 pm. The cases had been detected by a health surveillance team specially deputed in each district after the outbreak of bird flu in the adjoining Burhanpur district.

The team while working in villages Maji, Morgarhi and Mortakka Station where about 250 chickens died under suspicious circumstances about a fortnight back found the seven persons including six females and one male who had consumed chicken some days back suffering from suspected likeness of bird flu.

The chicken samples were sent to the laboratory in Bhopal of which the test results are awaited and about a week back the patients were referred to the CHC from where after consultation with the CMHO of the district the doctor incharge sent them to Indore.

The suspected patients include Uma Pyarelal aged 35 years, Krishnabai aged 30 years, Lalita Bai aged 60, Asha Bai aged 30 years and Kunda Bai aged 65 years all belonging to the same family along with Nani Bai aged 30 years, and Pradeep aged 20 years who are both relatives.

The seven suspected patients said that they had purchased chicken from the market and coked it for a feast. The chicken in the area began to die soon after and from the past week they were not feeling well with complaints of cough and cold, heavy breathing and dizziness.

The team reported them to the local doctors and recently two of them were taken to the hospital at Omkareshwar where the doctor ran some tests soon after which the patients were sent to Indore.

A team of specialist doctors including Head of Department Dr Ashok Bajpai and Dr Salil Bhargav examined the patients. The seven have been admitted at the Intensive Respiratory Care Unit, which became functional at the centre on the directives of the Health Department soon after the outbreak of bird flu was reported in the State.

The condition of the patients was reported to be stable. The patients showed general symptoms akin to pneumonia, while the same was not proved in the X-ray of their lungs. The patients were served normal food after their blood pressure and other vital statistics registered normal.

Dr Kharate said that the seven had eaten a traditional meal, which following the Indian system of cuisine was well cooked, thereby reducing the chances of survival of the virus in the chicken.

The H5N1 virus is known to die at high temperatures above 70 degrees centigrade and moisture. Transfer of the virus from man to man has also not been noticed and no case of human affected by bird flu has been reported in the country.