Twelve more suspected cases of swine flu were reported to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) on Monday and they included two classmates (both girls) of a 10-year-old girl who tested positive on Friday. Blood samples and throat swabs of these persons were sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in New Delhi. Doctors from the Department of Public Health and the CMCH screened 56 classmates of the girl at a city school and two of them were found to have flu-like symptoms. A doctor who treated the flu-positive girl was among the eight who complained of the symptoms.
Doctors said that three of the suspected cases were from Pune, where a girl died recently of A (H1N1) influenza. They were: two students (a boy and a girl) of a law college in Pune and a software engineer working in the same city. The girl student had come to her home at Sowripalayam and the boy to his house at Ram Nagar, both in the city. The software engineer hailed from Namakkal. He arrived at Namakkal from Pune on Sunday and on experiencing the symptoms, he came to the hospital on Monday. Another girl from Coimbatore city complained of the symptoms, but the doctors said she had no history of travel or known contact with flu-positive persons. So was the case of a woman staying in a hostel in the city. CMCH Dean V. Kumaran told The Hindu that the flu-positive girl was still under quarantine at her house in the city and that she was being monitored well. “She is wearing a three-layer mask. So are those attending on her,” the Dean said.
“We are also planning to ask the NICD whether a higher level test needs to be done for the girl, as she did not have contact with any flu-positive person. “She had not travelled anywhere outside Coimbatore, but only between home and school”, the Dean said. The hospital got the phone numbers of the parents of all her classmates. “We will contact the parents every day to monitor the condition of the children. They can also contact us on my number or of the Resident Medical Officer or on the hospital number. We have given all our phone numbers to the school,” Dr. Kumaran said.
The Dean said that by the end of the day four more persons gave their blood samples and throat swabs and went into house quarantine. The hospital got the phone numbers of all those quarantined at home. They would be contact when the results arrived. With more suspected cases flowing in, the CMCH would create more space to quarantine these. “We will convert our special wards into quarantine wards as the present isolation ward has only 10 beds,” Dr. Kumaran said.