Special Correspondent

Only two cases confirmed: Health Secretary

No case of domestic A(H1N1) flu reported

CHENNAI: Only two cases of A(H1N1) flu have been confirmed since the health authorities launched a 40-day-old vigil against the A (H1N1) virus during which over 2.86 lakh incoming passengers were screened at international airports and ports, Health Secretary V. K. Subburaj said.

Addressing reporters on the sidelines of a function to launch a diabetes-tuberculosis prevention programme, Mr. Subburaj said no case of domestic A(H1N1) flu was reported in the State.

All the 15 suspected cases to be quarantined and kept under observation so far were from the US. Patients reporting at the airport here with symptoms of flu are being quarantined at the airport and later referred for observation to the Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet and kept there until the results of blood sample tests are received from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, New Delhi. The two confirmed cases reported from Coimbatore were also passengers from the US.

Health authorities are expecting by Monday the test result of the blood sample of a five-year-old girl who showed signs of flu on arriving in Chennai. All five members of the family will be under a 48-hour surveillance.

The Health Secretary said there was no need to panic as there was no significant A(H1N1) flu pandemic threat in the State. Even the patients who tested positive for the A (H1N1) virus at the Coimbatore Government Medical College were treated and discharged from hospital after five days, he said. “Nevertheless, we are not lifting guard and round-the-clock vigil will continue at the airports in Chennai, Tiruchi and Coimbatore as well as in key ports in Chennai and Tuticorin,” Mr. Subburaj said.

The Health department has been instructed by the Government of India to mobilise itself to ensure that not a single A(H1N1) flu case gets past the surveillance net.

It has trained and deployed 100 health workers at the three airports in the State. Airport authorities too have mobilised special masks and other personal protection equipment and medicines for the benefit of passengers.

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