CHANDIGARH: Swine flu has claimed 15 lives in Punjab and eight in neighbouring Haryana this year, officials said Friday.
More than 270 patients were found affected by the flu in Punjab this year, said Dr Gagandeep Singh Grover, the state nodal officer for swine flu.
"Fifteen people have died due to H1N1 infection from January 1 until Thursday," Grover said.
He said 15 others swine flu patients from across Punjab have died, but due to other ailments.
Amid the mounting cases of the H1N1 infections in the state, the Punjab government has set up isolation wards at three government medical colleges, 22 district hospitals and 41 sub-divisional hospitals.
It has also announced free treatment for all suspected and confirmed cases.
Health minister Brahm Mohindra, who had recently held a high-level meeting with the senior officers of the health department to review the state's preparedness, has been constantly monitoring the situation.
Grover said awareness drives are being carried out and health officials are visiting various schools to educate students.
In neighbouring Haryana, eight persons have succumbed to swine flu so far this season.
"All the patients died in private hospitals," Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said Friday.
Seasonal Influenza (H1N1) is a self-limiting viral, air-borne disease spread from person-to-person, through large droplets generated through coughing and sneezing, indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface (fomite transmission like telephone, cell phones, computers, door handles, doorbells, pens, toys etc) and close contact (including handshaking, hugging, kissing), the advisory said.
The symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, difficulty in breathing.
Other symptoms may include body ache, headache, fatigue, chills, diarrhoea and vomiting and blood-stained sputum.