Sudha Singh has H1N1, not Zika

Although the screening team at the airport did not suspect any infection, Sudha (30) complained of fever, joint pain and fatigue soon after her arrival at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) here. And her serum sample tested positive for influenza, H1N1.

The Karnataka government has promised to cover Sudha Singh’s medical expenses in full.   -  H. Vibhu

Middle-distance runner Sudha Singh, who arrived from Rio on Saturday, has tested positive for Influenza ‘A’ H1N1, contrary to speculation that it could be Zika.

Her serum sample that had been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for a suspected Zika virus infection, has tested negative. “However, she has tested positive for H1N1. Doctors have already started treating her for the infection and she is responding well. A team of officials from the Centre and State Governments visited her in the hospital on Tuesday,” said T. K. Sunanda, District Surveillance Officer.

As 200 passengers had travelled in the same flight that she took during her return, the health department has informed all of them to report if they develop any symptoms in the next seven days. “We have also started prophylactic treatment for those who were in close contact with her including the coach and other athletes,” Dr. Sunanda said.

Although the screening team at the airport did not suspect any infection, Sudha (30) complained of fever, joint pain and fatigue soon after her arrival at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) here. After initial treatment there she was rushed to Fortis, Nagarbhavi as her blood pressure fell to worrisome levels.

“We have taken a very holistic approach to treat her for H1N1. She is stable now and on the path of recovery. Her future course of treatment will be based on the symptoms. We have been regularly updating the State and Central health authorities and the Sports Authority of India,” said Dr. Anantha Padmanabha, who’s treating her at Fortis Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has promised to cover Sudha’s medical expenses in full. “The Chief Minister has stated that we will bear all her expenses. We have already spoken to the hospital in this regard,” said K. Govindaraj, Congress MLC, and President of the Karnataka Olympic Association.

“The SAI is also willing to give her any support required,” said M. Shyam Sunder, Regional Director, SAI. “Officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from Delhi are here. They're monitoring the situation and also intimating all airports to screen athletes returning from Rio for any illnesses."