Thirty suspected swine flu cases in Phuket

PHUKET: Four tourists in Phuket are suspected of being infected with swine flu and are currently in quarantine in Phuket hospitals.

According to the Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO), three of the quarantined tourists are Pakistani nationals. They were immediately quarantined at Patong Hospital after thermo scanners showed they were suffering from high fevers.

The fourth tourist is a Thai national who has been quarantined at a “private hospital”, according to a report on Thai-language news website Manager Online.

Blood samples from all four have been sent to the Regional Medical Sciences Center in Surat Thani for testing.

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Blood samples from 26 Patong nightclub employees were also sent for testing at the center. They reported coughing and flu symptoms after coming into contact with a Hong Kong tourist who came down with swine flu during a stay in Patong. For our previous report, click here.

That man is currently being treated in Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong. He stayed in Patong from June 4 to June 8.

On June 7, he began to show flu symptoms and was diagnosed with swine flu upon his return to Hong Kong.

Phuket Public Health Office Director Dr Pongsawas Ratanasang told Manager that the PPHO has been in communication with the stricken Hong Kong man via the internet.

Dr Pongsawas said the man reported visiting “many countries” before his stay in Phuket.

The PPHO have yet to identify which country the man was infected in.

While in Patong he stayed at one hotel and visited three or four nightclubs, the report quoted Dr Pongsawas as saying.

PPHO officials have examined employees of these establishments to determine if any were infected after coming into contact with the man.

Of 100 people examined, 26 showed flu symptoms. They are now receiving treatment and their blood samples have been sent to the Regional Medical Sciences Center in Surat Thani for testing.

Dr Phadungkiat Uthoksaynee of the PPHO said the results should be released “within one to three days’ time”.

— Dan Waites & Khunakorn Terdkiatkhachorn

Phuket News

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