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Swine flu outbreak feared at NBRC campus in Gurgoan
Although authorities have denied the spread of H1N1, the first positive case of Swine Flu was reported on Thursday, thereafter authorities decided to close the institute to prevent the outbreak from spreading further.
TENSION IS palpable at the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) in Gurgaon, Haryana, with at least five research scholars confirming positive to Swine Flu. Sources said that panic spread of H1N1 infection is particularly acute among the hostel residents of the institute as it is feared that half of the hostel population could be at risk.
 
Although authorities have denied the spread of H1N1, the first positive case of Swine Flu was reported on Thursday, thereafter authorities decided to close the institute to prevent the outbreak from spreading further, a scholar revealed. He also informed that around five people on the campus have tested positive for the H1N1 virus, adding, “We are scared as more people are suspected to be infected. This is a small campus, where everyone lives close to each other.”
 
The NBRC campus is located at Manesar in Gurgoan District (40 km from Delhi) and also houses the hostel, where around 80 scholars are presently putting up.
By now, authorities have sent 16 samples to private laboratories for testing and the reports of the same will be available by evening. Five more samples were sent today to a laboratory and the results of the same are likely to come tomorrow.
 
Despite taking measures to contain the outbreak, it is being alleged that authorities are trying to suppress the information about the Swine Flu outbreak on the campus as a number of scientists from the institute are scheduled to visit abroad next month. The news of the H1N1 spread could jeopardise these foreign jaunts, an insider said on the condition of anonymity.
 
A hostel resident said that situation is grim as it is difficult to segregate people as every one is eating in the same mess and using same source of drinking water.
Critical of the manner, in which the situation is being handled, he told that a number of scholars fell ill, a day after the institute organised the annual festival named 'Tantrika', last Sunday (September 13).
 
“On Monday, a number of students had shown Swine Flu symptoms and the first case of H1N1 virus was confirmed on Thursday.”  
 
Despite widespread panic, no scholar was willing to come on record as they fear higher authorities could victimise them. NBRC being a research institution, the career of the most of the scholars depends on the their guides, so no will speak openly, said one student.
 
Students are ruing the fact that while Swine Flu patients have been quarantined and administered Tami Flu, those who came in contact with them have not been given the medicine as a precautionary measure.
 
While. hostel residents apprehend that around 50 per cent residents could be exposed to H1N1 virus, they  also admitted that NBRC authorities were helping the Swine Flu patients. “There are doctors on the campus and they are taking care of the students, some of the suspected patients have been quarantined and the institute is paying for the expensive H1N1 test,” said a scholar, wishing not to be identified.
 
Meanwhile, NBRC authorities have denied that there is outbreak of Swine Flu on the campus, they however, agreed that some samples have been sent for H1N1 tests. Dr Sudheendra Rao, while talking to merinews, said that there were no confirmed cases and the result of the tests are being awaited.
 
The institute will be able to make a statement only after the results of these tests are received in the evening, he added.
 
National Brain Research Centre is the apex centre for brain research and aims to consolidate, network and undertake basic research of high caliber in neuroscience and has linkages with national and international organisations involved in neuro-science research.
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