Of the other two positive results that arrived late on Wednesday, one was a 16-year-old boy and the other a four-year-old girl.All of them were stable as they had been put on treatment even as the results were awaited, official sources said on Thursday.Along with these nine, the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital got the results of seven other cases. But, these were negative.
The hospital sent the throat swabs of five new suspected cases to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases on Thursday.The sources indicated there was concern over persons with flu symptoms slipping out of the quarantine ward at the hospital.A 17-year-old boy from Erode escaped from the ward on July 23 on knowing that his test results were positive. The boy was brought back the same evening and put on a course of oseltamivir.
He was discharged after a week’s treatment.A 22-year-old man from Gudalur in the Nilgiris District, who complained of flu-like symptoms, slipped out of the ward on Tuesday, despite claims from the hospital that the vigil was tight.Patients insisted that they wanted to undergo treatment at home than at the hospital.The sources pointed out that the option of house quarantine actually defeated the efforts to prevent the spread of the influenza virus.The Union Health Ministry had offered this option in the light of a huge inflow of cases in other cities such as Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Referring to complaints from the public of poor facilities in government hospitals, the sources said these and the space to expand the quarantine wards would have to be provided if hospital stay was made compulsory.On the disadvantages of house quaratine, they said there was no guarantee that infected children would remain at home, especially if the parents faced the compulsion to go to work.The parents were not willing to reveal that their children had flu, especially because of the public attaching an unwarranted stigma to it. So, there was the possibility of the infected children mingling with the others as part of efforts to conceal the truth, the sources said.
It was better to share information on suspected or positive cases in the neighbourhood in order to check the spread of the flu, they said.