Outbreak of swine flu hits Bangladesh nurses

An outbreak of swine flu has occurred at the Kurigram Nursing Training Institute in Bangladesh, where at least 14 nurses have had positive tests confirmed for the disease.

Aminul Islam, a doctor from the Kurigram Sadar Upazila Health Complex, said that the swine flu virus that has infected the nurses is not life threatening. A team from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research visited the institute on April 12 after 53 students of the school came down with an unknown disease. Influenza season in Bangladesh typically runs from April to September, the Daily Star reports.

"Fourteen nurses among the 37 whose blood and cough samples were brought to the IEDCR in the capital for diagnosing have been tested H1N1 positive," Mahmudur Rahman, the director of the institute, said, according to the Daily Star. "The affected are now safe as doctors started prompt treatment with anti-viral drugs."

The nursing students complained of cough, aching throat, headache, fever and occasional vomiting. The H1N1 virus spreads mostly through sneezing and coughing. The first swine flu case in Bangladesh was detected in 2009. Experts suggest avoiding close contact or crowded places with ill people. The virus consists of genetic material from the influenza virus of humans, pigs and birds.