Thursday, August 13, 2009

‘Timely treatment saved me’

16-yr-old swine flu survivor speaks of his ordeal as he is discharged from Kasturba Hospital on Wednesday

The 16-yr-old (left) walks out of the hospital on Wednesday

Sixteen-year-old Amit Kumar (name changed) painted a picture of positivity as he walks out of Kasturba Hospital on Wednesday. The Std XII student was discharged after recovering from swine flu, but makes his ordeal sound like a breeze.

“Apart from fever and cough, my health was actually quite good the whole time,” he recounts. “But I had been diagnosed with swine flu early enough, so with the treatment, I was able to make a full recovery.”

Amit, a student of Apeejay School, Nerul, was rushed to the hospital to be tested for the dreaded virus six days ago. Though his illness did not seem severe, his mother did not want to take any chances.

“I never thought he would actually test positive,” she says.

Amit admits there were some tense moments. “When they first told me I had the disease, I was terrified. Rida, India’s first swine flu victim, had just passed away, so I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he reveals.

“I think early detection saved my son,” adds his mother, who had informed the school as soon as Amit tested positive, thanks to which authorities were able to close it down for a week.

The only thing Amit found unbearable about the entire episode was being kept in isolation. “It was like a jail. For five days I could not go outside, and there was no entertainment. I’m just happy I’ve been discharged,” he says.

Amit is expected to resume school next week, and has been asked by doctors to take extra precautions for the next 15 days.

Volunteers from a local NGO distribute masks at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to passengers travelling to Pune on the Deccan Queen. Pune - that has been dubbed as the ‘swine flu capital’ of India - has seen 10 deaths from the H1N1 virus to date

It was like a jail. For five days I couldn’t go outside, and there was no entertainment. I’m just happy I’ve been discharged - The 16-year-old