Coimbatore: A woman and her son, who has been studying in the US, were admitted to a government hospital here on Sunday with suspected symptoms of swine flu.
According to hospital officials, the 26-year-old man, who was studying at a university in New Jersey, complained of fever and throat pain after he returned from Bangalore two days ago.
His mother, a resident here, had also complained of similar symptoms and after contacting a senior health department official, they got themselves admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening.
They have been kept under observation in an isolated ward and arrangements were being made to send their blood samples to Delhi for tests, the officials said.
India confirmed its first case of H1N1 flu on Saturday, involving airline passengers arriving from the US.
Thirty-eight countries have now confirmed cases of the flu strain, a mix of swine, human and avian viruses, which last month prompted the World Heath Organization (WHO) to raise its global pandemic alert level to 5 on a 6-point scale.
WHO, whose data lags national tallies, put the number of confirmed worldwide cases at 8,480 and the death toll at 72 on Sunday in its latest update. The virus is behaving much like a seasonal influenza strain, which kills 500,000 annually, by spreading rapidly and causing mainly mild disease, but severe illness in some people.
The confirmation of cases in India, Malaysia and Turkey brought the number of countries with confirmed cases of H1N1, commonly known as swine flu, to 39, the WHO said.
The vast majority of deaths have been in Mexico, where the outbreak started. The US has reported five, and Canada and Costa Rica one each.
Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday raised the number of confirmed H1N1 flu deaths in the country to 68, up two from the previous total.
In Geneva, health negotiators from rich and poor countries failed on Saturday to clinch a full deal on virus sharing to produce vaccines, but said they had closed gaps on some tough political issues.
The H1N1 has given added urgency to the work of the intergovernmental meeting, set up two years ago by WHO amid a scare about H5N1 influenza, or bird flu.
India’s health ministry confirmed on Saturday its first case of the H1N1 flu in an Indian man who had travelled from the US, via Dubai, to Hyderabad.
“He was identified at the screening at the airport and was quarantined, and his samples were drawn and they have tested positive,” said health official Vineet Choudhary.
Those close to him had been isolated and their health was being monitored, Choudhary said. His co-passengers on the flight to India were also being tracked down. (‘Reuters’ contributed to this story.)