33-year-old first swine flu victim in Kerala


Wilson Lukose, a native of Vettukad near here, was admitted to the Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) a week ago with high fever.

However, it is said that he had undergone treatment at a different hospital on the outskirts of the city before for cold and fever.

“When he got admitted to KIMS, his disease was at an advanced stage. It got worse yesterday (Monday), and he breathed his last this evening (Tuesday),’’ said Health Minister P K Sreemathy.

Lukose had arrived in Chennai from Andamans by flight, and from there he had taken a train to here. It is not known how he contracted the infection. Following his death, about 40 doctors in the hospital have been placed under surveillance for symptoms of the dreaded disease.

Sreemathy said that 53 persons in the state had tested positive for the disease and some of them had already been cleared of the infection.

According to her, the state is fully geared to face the situation, and all districts have facilities to isolate and treat patients.

The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCBT) here has testing facility, though it is yet to be certified by the Central health authorities.

In fact, the Union Health Ministry officials are already in the state and are holding discussions with the State authorities on the steps taken to tackle the disease.

Reports say Kerala with its humid climate offers a conducive atmosphere for the virus to thrive.

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