Olympian O P Jaisha, who returned from Rio with fever and body ache last week, has been hospitalised after she was tested positive for H1N1, two days after another athlete Sudha Singh was found to be suffering from the same disease.
“Jaisha, who arrived in Bengaluru with fever and bodyache, has been hospitalised at the Fortis hospital at Bannerghatta, as per the information I had received so far from SAI doctors,” Sports Authority of India Regional director Shyam Sunder told PTI in Bengaluru.
Jaisha had competed in the women’s marathon in Rio Olympics. It was an “arduous task” for SAI authorities to convince her to get her blood samples tested at the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD).
She, however, agreed to give her blood samples for testing on Wednesday after the state health officials convinced her, Sunder said. “It was an arduous task to convince Jaisha to get her blood samples tested at the virology institute. She ignored our counselling and moved out of the SAI premises on August 21 after applying for leave,” he said.
Instead of heading straight to her native state Kerala, Jaisha stayed in Bengaluru and until Wednesday, she was not physically available to the health and SAI officials, Sunder said. “Finally, after she was located yesterday, the state health officials visited her and convinced her to get her blood samples tested,” he said.
The results of the samples, sent to RGICD on Wednesday, was submitted on Thursday which tested positive for H1N1, Sunder said.
Sudha Singh was the first athlete to have been tested H1N1 positive and has been hospitalised since August 20. Sudha, when she arrived from Rio, was undergoing treatment and medication for suspected Zika virus.
She had participated in the steeplechase competition at Rio. In May, Sudha broke the national record in women’s 3000m steeplechase event to finish eighth in the second leg of the prestigious Diamond League Meet in Shanghai.
She had qualified for Rio Games during the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi in April, where she clocked nine minutes 26.55 seconds.
Before the commencement of the Rio Olympics, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had issued a detailed advisory to all the athletes and support staff in view of the Zika virus scare in Brazil. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus which can cause crippling birth defects and also affects neurological system.