CHENNAI: One more person from the Irula community in Tiruvallur district has died at the Stanley Medical College on Monday due to suspected swine flu, taking the toll to three in the last 24 hours.
Ten more people, four children and six adults from the community are being treated at the hospital.
On Monday, Angammal (58) and Sreenivasan (28) from Irulas Colony near Elliammam Kovil Street in Tiruvallur succumbed to suspected swine flu one after the other. And on Tuesday Ramesh (20) from the community had died.
Meanwhile, a day after the first two deaths, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan and Director of Public Health Dr K Kolandaswamy and other officials rushed to the village for an inspection. People from the colony were shifted to a community hall in the vicinity due to the unhygienic condition of the area. Medical camps were also conducted in the area.
According to sources, the Irula community was living in makeshift houses and the unhygienic condition was threatening spread of viral or bacterial infection. But, no medical camps were conducted for them after Vardah cyclone.
Speaking to Express, Kolandaswamy said, "last Friday, a village health nurse visited the community as a pregnant woman missed her regular check up. Then, she found, a few in the community having fever and respiratory distress. So, the people were shifted to a primary health centre in the limits after treatment in a medical camp.”
He further said only on Monday, health workers identified that three people needed admission and they were shifted to Stanley Hospital, but, Angammal and Sreenivasan died within 30 minutes of admission. And Ramesh died on next day morning.
“The clinical diagnosis showed suspected swine flu or bacterial infection. We are waiting for laboratory results. There are 46 people in the community, in which 20 were hospitalised. We don’t know, if it is bacterial or viral infection. But, it has spread very fast. Post-mortem results are awaited,” he added.
A senior doctor at the hospital said, four children and six adults are being treated at the hospital.
"Clinical diagnosis showed suspected swine flu (HINI flu virus) infection. These people were admitted with fever and breathing difficulty. They also had other symptoms of swine flu. We couldn’t do the blood test to Angammal and Sreenivasan due to immediate deaths. But, we have sent blood samples of Ramesh to the laboratory,” the doctor added.