Bhopal: Swine flu has claimed 44 lives in Madhya Pradesh with five patients each succumbing to the deadly H1N1 virus in Bhopal and Indore districts since July 1 this year. So far, 226 positive cases of swine flu have been reported from different districts of Madhya Pradesh, state health services director Dr KL Sahu said. Sahu further said that the H1N1 virus claimed 44 lives in the state so far since July 1 this year while 226 positive cases of swine flu were found during this period. The highest number of deaths, five each, has been reported in Bhopal and Indore districts.

Besides, three swine flu patients each died in Jabalpur and Sagar and the remaining in other districts of the state,” he said, adding that 45 patients were found infected with the H1N1 virus in Bhopal and 36 in Jabalpur. In Indore, 17 positive cases of swine flu were detected during the period.

The cases of swine flu were also reported from Sagar, Ujjain, Gwalior, Satna, Shahdol, Damoh and some other districts. We are running an awareness campaign as prevention can check further spread of the disease. Isolation wards have been created in all the district hospitals in the state to tackle the situation, Sahu added.

State Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Rustum Singh issued instructions to open swine flu testing laboratories in all prominent cities of the state, a public relations department official said. At present, such labs are located in Jabalpur, Gwalior and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhopal.

The minister also directed all collectors to start sharing information about preventive measures against swine flu and its treatment with sarpanch of villages by holding gram sabhas, the official said.