Seventy nine people were tested positive for Swine flu in Himachal Pradesh, out of which 20 have died.The H1Ni virus has already caused the death of more than 1,500 people in the country this year, compared to 218 in 2014.
The first death due to swine flu in the state was reported on February 15 when a 37-year-old man succumbed to the deadly virus at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital.
"Swine flu has affected Himachal Pradesh too. Till date 220 people have been tested for swine flu out of which 79 tested positive. Out of these 79 samples, 20 people have died till Monday morning," state Health Minister, Kaul Singh Thakur said.
Thakur said that there was no shortage of medicines in the state. He added that the only way to contain the spread of swine flu was to generate awareness about it among the people. "We have printed millions of posters which explain the difference between the symptoms of common flu and swine flu. Simultaneously the doctors and officials at the block level and doctors in primary health centres are carrying out sensitization drives across panchayats and in schools so that children can further spread awareness among their families. The awareness drive is being carried out intensively across the state," said Thakur.
The maximum number of deaths has been reported from Shimla, where seven people died of the disease. In wake of the growing need, the central government is procuring diagnostic kits to test for the virus, masks and anti-viral drug Oseltamivir.