ISLAMABAD: Three more people have tested positive for swine flu at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, bringing the count of confirmed patients to five.

Two more suspected patients have been admitted to the hospital and their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Pims media coordinator Dr Waseem Khawaja said three patients were confirmed on money, and two others – one aged 30 years and another 50 – were also brought to the hospital on Monday.

“We have put the patients on ventilators as they were having difficulty breathing,” he said, adding that various nearby hospitals have requested 100 ventilators over the last 24 hours, which the hospital is unable to provide.

Swine flu is an infection caused by different types of viruses. It is endemic in pigs and transferred to humans, after which it transfers from human to human.

Dr Khawaja said seasonal influenza viruses can cause mild to severe illness, and even death, particularly in high-risk individuals. Diseases tend to occur seasonally in winter months in temperate climates, spreading from person to person through sneezing, coughing or contact with contaminated surfaces.

People at greater risk of severe disease include pregnant women, the very young and very old, immune-compromised people and those with underlying medical conditions or respiratory diseases.

“Seasonal influenza viruses evolve continuously, which means people can be infected multiple times,” he added.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2019