Press "Enter" to skip to content

Swine flu scare hits Irular community in Tiruvallur: 3 dead, several kids hospitalised

The Irular tribe living in Erikarai in Pudu Gummidipoondi village in Tiruvallur district is having a hard time after the death of three people who were suffering from swine flu on Tuesday. 

One more child has been tested positive for H1NI virus and has been kept in isolation in the Institute of Child Health (ICH) at Egmore. 

The horror started on Monday when three people fell sick. “They had high fever and were later shifted to Stanley Hospital in Chennai where they passed away. On Tuesday, a medical camp was set up in Erikarai and all the people were tested for swine flu,” said Mariamman from Sarpam Irular Thozhilali Sangam, an organisation which works with Irular tribes in Gumminipoondi.

The three residents who died were Ramesh (35), Sreenivasan (20) and Angalammal (54).

Children and adults who were serious were immediately shifted to ICH and Stanley Hospital. “While 13 children have been admitted to the hospital in Egmore, seven more children and five adults are undergoing treatment at Stanley Hospital,” said Prabhakaran, District Medical Officer, Tiruvallur district.

However, he confirmed that all of them are stable. “Only one child has been kept in isolation as her H1N1 test came positive. Two people are on oxygen support but no one is on ventilator and everyone is improving. The fever has subsided and they are being given doses of medicines for the last three days,” he added. 

There are 13 families living in Erikarai and most of them work as daily wage workers. According to Mariamman “they eat food once in the whole day. They do not have money for anything. These children would not have got any proper nutrients and fell ill.”

Speaking to The News Minute, Saroja (22), a daily wage labourer from Erikarai said, “Four of my five children are in the hospital. All of them have cough and cold. They have been complaining of body pain. My husband has also been admitted. Here at least the children are getting proper food.”

A relative of a child admitted at the ICH, Murali (28), said, “A few days after the cyclone was over, people started becoming sick in our village. Everyone thought it must be normal cold or cough. But after the death (of three people), everyone became scared and shifted their children to hospitals,” he said.

Most of the people in Erikarai are either admitted in hospitals in Chennai or the medical centre started by the government in Gummidipoondi. “There are not enough people to look after the sick as most of them are admitted or are being tested. The result for people admitted in Stanley Hospital is yet to be given,” said Tilakraj, founder of Sevai Karangal, another NGO helping the Irular community.

Two doctors and one nurse have been sent along with the 13 children admitted at ICH, he added. 

Source: The News Minute