Four persons, including two siblings, were diagnosed with swine flu affliction here, even as the condition of a two-and-a-half-year-old child turned serious on Saturday.

Tapas Sen, nodal officer of the West Bengal Health Department’s swine flu wing told The Hindu that the number of people affected in the State had gone up to 32.

Late diagnosis

He said the child, Akash Chowdhury, was admitted to the government-run R.G. Kar Hospital on Tuesday. However, he was diagnosed with swine flu only on Saturday. “The boy is now in the ICU,” Dr. Sen said, adding that his condition was serious.Abhradeep (8) and his sister Priyadarshini (6), who were diagnosed on Saturday, have been admitted to the M.R. Bangur Hospital. Their father, who had returned from Mumbai with fever, is under treatment for swine flu at the State’s Infectious Disease (ID) hospital.

No shortage of beds

Dr. Sen said there was no shortage of beds in the State hospitals designated for treating patients affected by the pandemic.

“We are reconstructing a ward in the ID hospital here and have asked district hospitals to earmark a certain portion of their capacity for swine flu cases.”

However, doctors at the ID hospital said the system was being stretched and advised people to come and get themselves checked only after consulting a local doctor. Hundreds of panic-stricken people with sore throats or runny noses were rushing to designated hospitals.

The State government, which is holding periodic reviews to monitor the situation, will hold another meeting on August 18, according to Health Department sources.

Sushanta Talukdar reports from Guwahati:

Assam reported detection of the first case of swine flu in the State on Saturday after laboratory tests confirmed that a Pune law college student, admitted to the isolation ward of the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital here, was afflicted with the A (H1N1) influenza. His condition is stable, doctors said.

The 21-year-old, hailing from Haryana, had come from Pune to visit his sister here. He was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of swine flu on Thursday. The same day, his samples were sent for testing at the Lahowal-based laboratory in Dirbugarh district.

The Health Department is trying to trace all those who have come into contact with the student and ensure their screening for the virus.

The government has trained 100 doctors to fight the disease. It says it has adequate quantity of Tamiflu tablets stocked in all 27 districts.

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