Seven students of a government higher secondary school in Kozhikode have been diagnosed with H1N1 (swine flu). In the first week of January, 176 persons — 163 students and 13 teachers — in the school came down with a fever, after which their blood samples were sent for testing. Out of these, the H1N1 virus has been found in the blood samples of seven students.
The seven H1N1 cases were confirmed by the Manipal Institute of Virology, which tested the blood samples sent to them by the Kozhikode health department.
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja informed the public that there was no cause for panic as measures are being taken to curtail the spread of the fever. She added that a special medical team from the health department will visit the school on Thursday.
In case of any critical conditions or symptoms found in a patient, he or she will immediately be shifted to an isolation ward, she added.
The minister also added that the public must follow the health department’s instructions very closely.
Since January 1, 2020, the Anayamkunnu higher secondary school reported 176 cases of fever. Following this, a two-day holiday (on January 2 and 3) was announced at the school.
The health department immediately visited the students and took their blood samples for testing. The samples were sent to the Manipal Institute of Virology which had also confirmed the Nipah virus cases during the outbreak in 2018.
According to reports, most students who came down with the fever have been exhibiting similar symptoms — high fever, throat pain, cough. Although the fever itself was not ebbing, it was found to have been spreading to more people.
ASHA workers in Kozhikode were sent to the houses of students and teachers to identify if people close to them - relatives, neighbours and friends - who were not associated with the school, also had contracted the fever.