Four new H1N1 cases confirmed in Reeda's school

Four new H1N1 cases confirmed in Reeda's school
Pune, New Delhi:  As Pune panics after the death of 14-year-old Reeda Sheikh, her school, St Anne's, has now reported four more confirmed cases.

News of one girl testing positive for the H1N1 virus came on Wednesday in the evening while the three others were confirmed early on Thursday morning.

One of the girls, a friend of Reeda, is also in Class IX, but from a different section. The other girl who has tested positive is said to be in Class IV.

All four girls from St Anne's school have been quarantined at Naidu hospital.

Meanwhile, health officials are screening all the students of St Anne's High School. The school, which was to reopen on Thursday, has been closed for another eight days.

"People are ready to pay, but there are no facilities. They told us government hospitals don't take money, but they aren't giving us any facilities either. Those who can afford to go to private hospitals must go," said Paras Bafna.

Authorities in Pune are now worried with the huge flow of people thronging the Naidu Hospital, a government approved swine flu testing hospital. Parents are rushing to the hospital even if they have normal flu, making it tough for the hospital to operate smoothly.

However, among the precautions that one can take to prevent the virus is to wear a N-95 mask, especially in crowded areas. But in Pune, chemists do not have enough stocks.

Meanwhile, as many as 24 new swine flu cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, eight of them being in the National Capital Region (NCR).

A student from IIT Delhi is among the eight fresh cases reported from the NCR. Most of the new cases are contacts of previously reported positive patients.

A 13-year-old girl has also tested positive in Hyderabad, a city that has been swine flu-free ever since the initial outbreak of positive cases.

With swine flu cases rising, the government designated laboratories for testing are under pressure. Of the 18 labs shortlisted by the Centre, only four - in Delhi, Pune, Kolkata and Dibrugarh - are working. The other 14 labs are still not up and running. And private labs are now making the most of the situation, recommending rapid tests for flu, although private labs not equipped for swine flu testing.

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