Three die of swine flu in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, Dec 22 - Three people died of influenza A (H1N1) at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGMIER) here, taking the toll to 37 in this union territory, an official said Tuesday.

The three people, including a woman working in a nationalised bank inside the Panjab University (PU) campus here, died Monday. This is the second patient from Panjab University who died of swine flu. Earlier, a servant of a faculty member who resides inside the university campus died due to the H1N1 virus.

The two others who died Monday were from towns in Punjab and Haryana.

"We have informed the health officials of Punjab and Haryana about these deaths and told them to quarantine people who were in close contact with the deceased," officiating nodal officer of swine flu G. C. Bansal said.

A Panjab University spokesperson said: "We will run a widespread campaign to educate both students and employees about dos and don'ts to curb the spread of infection. We have also directed hostel wardens to remain more vigilant and to submit a daily health report of suspected students."

Over 10,000 students, 70 percent of them women, study in the university. There are 14 hostels, seven each for boys and girls inside the campus.

"Five more patients -- three from Chandigarh, one each from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh -- have tested positive for swine flu. We have diagnosed them and their condition is stable," Bansal said.

So far nearly 700 suspected cases of swine flu have been screened in Chandigarh. Of these, over 290 patients tested positive.

The onset of winter has made the situation more problematic as December alone has seen over 140 positive cases and 27 deaths due to swine flu in Chandigarh. (IANS)