Swine flu spreads to Kolkata, Rajasthan reports 73 deaths, Telangana 41

Ten people have tested positive for swine flu in Kolkata, with the dreaded virus disease fast spreading in all corners of the country, triggering the initial signs of an imminent outbreak.

“So far there are 10 positive cases in Kolkata. The tests are being run at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) facility in Beleghata,” a Swasthya Bhavan source told IANS on conditions of anonymity.

Two women, who tested positive for the H1N1 influenza two days ago were admitted in private hospitals and the condition of one, who recently visited Mumbai, was critical.

“Out of the 10, three patients hail from other states,” the source said. The official also said the central medical store has been instructed to stock Oseltemavir tablets and masks.

Meanwhile, the union health ministry Friday reviewed the swine flu situation in various states, including Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. More than 200 people have lost their lives to swine flu so far this year.

Rajasthan alone reported 73 deaths so far. “The deaths were reported from Jaipur, Dausa and Jodhpur. Besides, 19 more people tested positive Thursday for swine flu,” a health department official in Jaipur said.

The disease has created panic in the state, and over 270 people on Thursday reached the state’s largest government-run SMS Hospital in Jaipur for swine flu tests. An official said that till Wednesday, 437 people tested positive for the H1N1 virus, with the maximum of 152 from Jaipur, amid reports of shortage of tablets.

Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who himself is recuperating after being detected with swine flu, flayed the Vasundhara Raje government for delay in arranging 10 lakh Tamiflu tablets used for treating the flu.

Prime Minister’s home state Gujarat seems to be among the worst affected states when it comes to swine flu, with 70 deaths reported so far. Union Health Minister J P Nadda chaired a high level meeting to review the situation.

Surprisingly, neighbouring states of Gujarat and Rajasthan have suffered more due to the outbreak of swine flu.

In Uttar Pradesh, health officials admitted on Wednesday that fresh cases have been reported from the eastern parts of the state.

The flu has so far claimed two lives in the state capital and infected over 70 people, including an infant and an eight-year-old. Areas in and around the Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Institute of Medical Sciences have come under the radar of health department as a majority of cases continue to be reported from there.

The latest victim of swine flu is a pathologist working at the SGPGI. The paramedic staff has been confirmed of swine flu along with his 8-year-old daughter. Ten cases have been reported from the PGI campus.

In Ghazipur, a young man succumbed to swine flu late Tuesday, sending alarm bells ringing in the poorvanchal, eastern part of the state. A case has been reported from Varanasi too, officials said.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Kanpur rural has also confirmed death of a woman due to swine flu. Health officials are alarmed as the victim gave a wrong address in the private clinic. They fear that she could have infected more people and in such a case they need to be identified and isolated.

The total number of cases in the country due to the disease has gone up to 500 so far this year.

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