SRINAGAR: Two people have died of swine flu in Kashmir during the last 24 hours, while 12 fresh cases have been reported, taking the number of people infected with the disease to 96, health officials said today.
"Two deaths have occurred in the last 24 hours because of swine flu," Head of Department (HoD) of Medicine, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Dr Parvaiz Kaul told PTI.
Kaul, who is also in-charge of the Influenza Project in the state said 12 new cases of the disease have been detected in the Valley.
"We tested 40 new samples during the last 24 hours and found 12 of them positive for H1N1 virus," he said.
With these 12 new cases, the total number of people in the Valley who tested positive for the swine flu virus has climbed to 96.
On Wednesday, the SKIMS officials had declared that two patients with swine flu infection had died, marking the first casualties due to the disease in the state. The toll now stands at four.
Kaul said out of these 12 cases, two to three were doctors who were dealing with such patients.
"I cannot confirm the exact number, but yes 2-3 doctors have tested positive for the virus," he said.
The critical patients have been kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital.
"We have kept such patients in isolation and are monitoring their condition regularly," Kaul said.
He said the doctors and paramedical staff were at high risk and there was a need to protect them from the infection.
"They (medical staff) are the ones who are at a high risk. They do not know what is coming to them. Any patient can be carrying the virus and may infect the medical staff. There is a need to protect them by giving them masks and all that which acts like their protective gear," the doctor said.
Kaul maintained that the authorities were doing their best in this regard.