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Dozens more swine flue cases surface in Punjab

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LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: At least 36 more cases of swine flu surfaced in different areas of Punjab on Saturday, as the National Institute of Health (NIH) warned that people with immune deficiency could become the victim of the deadly virus.

According to the Punjab Director General (Health) Dr Amjad Shahzad, all hospitals in the province had been put on alert with the confirmation of 36 more swine flu cases. So far, 95 people have tested positive for swine flu, while 12 have died, eight of them in Rawalpindi and Multan, four in Chakwal and Muzaffargarh, and two in Lahore, says Shahzad. The NIH said in its advisory on Saturday that people with immune deficiency; cancer, heart and asthma patients; and pregnant women could fall prey to swine flu. It advised people to take precautionary measures for a month and avoid going to open places. Also, five new cases of swine flu were reported in the OPD of a private hospital in Karachi in the first half of January, a health official confirmed on Saturday. Director Health Karachi Dr Zafar Ejaz said that five people tested positive for swine flu at a private hospital, but they were not admitted because their condition was not serious. A source said that all these patients belonged to Punjab. The authorities have already issued a swine flu alert in Karachi and set up isolation wards at key hospitals of the city.

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