Swine flu alert in northeast India, two women test positive

Agartala/Aizawl/Imphal: The northeastern states have sounded a high alert to prevent the spread of swine flu in the bordering region even as two women tested positive for the virus in Nagaland and Mizoram, officials said Friday.

In Mizoram a Mizo woman was detected with swine flu, the first case in the state, bordering Myanmar.

"A woman tested positive for swine flu in Aizawl. She was in New Delhi for a short period and it is suspected that she contracted the H1N1 virus in the national capital," nodal officer of Mizoram Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Pachuau Lalmalsawma told reporters.

The official said that blood samples of four people, including the woman, were sent to the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases in Kolkata where one sample (of the woman) was found to be H1N1 positive.

The woman is now under medical supervision.

In Nagaland, the state's health and family welfare department sounded a high alert in all its 11 district units after a woman in Dimapur tested positive for swine flu.

"A Naga woman tested positive for H1N1 Monday at a district hospital in Dimapur. She works in Chennai, and had come to Dimapur via Kolkata on Feb 13," a health department official said in Kohima.

The Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya governments have also sounded high alerts and directed the district medical authorities to be ready to deal with any eventuality.

In Manipur, director of state health directorate Okram Ibomcha said that surveillance cells have been opened in all the nine districts of the state.

He said that district medical officers and nodal officers of the surveillance cells have been asked to conduct awareness programmes on swine flu among the people.

The official advised people to take precautionary measures as per the advice of the doctors.

In Assam, special swine flu disease prevention facilities have been set up at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital, Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh and Silchar Medical College.

Tripura Health and Family Welfare Minister Badal Choudhury said that a special medical ward has been created in Agartala government medical college to deal with the infectious disease.

"The state health department is fully alert to deal with swine flu in the state. The health department has procured the required medicines from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra," Choudhury told reporters.

"There is no case of swine flu so far in Tripura," said the minister, who held a review meeting here Thursday with health department officials and doctors.

The meeting decided to post medical teams at Agartala airport and other entry points including the India-Bangladesh checkposts to screen people.

The northeastern states share international boundaries with China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal and there is frequent cross border movement of people in the region - legally and illegally.

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