Australian first foreigner to contract swine flu

A young Australian tourist has been called ‘the first foreigner’ to suffer from the scourge of swine flu in India where over 1,000 people have already lost their lives due to the disease.

Dr. Sumit Khan of Ruby General Hospital in Kolkata refused to divulge further details of the Australian but confirmed her condition is satisfactory and out of danger. The 18 year old girl from Australia was admitted at the hospital five days ago with symptoms of swine flu, Dr. Khan said on March 2.

Swine Flu

 

“She is in good condition now and will be discharged today,” the medical superintendent of the privately-run hospital told southasia.com.au on via telephone.

She is reported to be with a group of four to five western tourists but the nationalities of her friends could not be ascertained. However, rest of the group tested negative for H1N1, Dr. Khan assured.

Dr. K.K. Pati of Infectious Disease Hospital in Kolkata, a government medical facility, said that the earlier report by an Indian media outlet about a private hospital refusing to treat her was not true. The Australian was initially admitted at this hospital but was later moved to Ruby General Hospital, the doctor clarified. “It was a matter of cleanliness and facility due to which she preferred to be transferred,” the doctor told southasia.com.au via telephone.

Swine flu has inflicted almost every corner of the vast subcontinent as thousands get diagnosed every day. The virus has not even spared Bollywood celebrities with a noted star, Sonam Kapoor, being the latest victim. She is currently being treated in Mumbai, Indian media reported.

The disease has now crossed border into Nepal with one confirmed death in Kathmandu. A middle-aged victim succumbed to the H1N1 virus on February 28 at Kathmandu Model Hospital where she was being treated for Asthma since February 17.

Local media reports said the woman had not traveled outside Kathmandu prompting fears she contracted the disease locally. This has sparked fears among Kathmandu’s health professionals about the virus already being present in the capital city.

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