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Samples of India’s first suspected swine flu case sent to Delhi


Hyderabad : The samples of India’s first suspected swine flu case have been sent to a lab in Delhi and the results are expected in two days, officials here said Thursday.

A non-resident Indian (NRI), who landed here from Texas with suspected symptoms of swine flu two days ago, underwent some tests at a hospital here Thursday and his blood samples were sent to Delhi, the officials said.

The doctors at the government-run Andhra Pradesh Chest Hospital said the symptoms were yet to be established.

The officials are not revealing the identity of the 26-year-old man, though they said he is a Hyderabadi and studying engineering in Texas.

Andhra Pradesh Medical and Health Minister K. Rosaiah told a news conference this evening that the tests were conducted on the man.

The man had earlier failed to turn up at the hospital despite the advice of doctors. The officials of the medical and health department convinced him to undergo necessary tests at the hospital, which has the required wherewithal, including four rooms for quarantine.

The officials, however, said there was no need for panic as it was not yet confirmed if the man from Texas had symptoms of the pandemic. The first swine flu death outside Mexico took place in Texas.

L.V. Subramanyam, the state’s principal secretary (medical and health), told IANS that the man suffering from cold and related complaints had approached a private hospital on his own after landing here Tuesday.

The doctors advised him to approach the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM), where he underwent preliminary tests for cold and respiratory problems Wednesday. The IPM later referred him to the chest hospital, a notified facility which has pulmonologists.

“We will make him undergo tests at the chest hospital. Though his family says that he is hale and hearty, we don’t want to take any risk as anybody suffering from flu will have to be isolated to prevent the spread of the disease,” Subramanyam said.

Sudha Ramna, director of medical education, however, said the man is “perfectly alright” and that it was a “false alarm”.

The man and his family members earlier met a team of officials sent by the department to his house Thursday morning, saying this would give an impression to their neighbours that he is afflicted by the disease.

Subramanyam denied he was found to have symptoms of the flu during the screening at the airport soon after his arrival from Texas.

A team of two doctors with two ambulances has been deployed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here since Wednesday to screen the passengers who have visible signs of flu like cold, fever and upper respiratory infection.

The authorities are keeping a watch on those passengers arriving from the countries hit by the flu. However, the authorities have no diagnostic facilities here.