swine fluA 51-year-old woman who tested positive for H1N1 died in Kerala yesterday, taking the swine flu toll to eight since January this year. The woman from Chavara in Kollam district died at a private hospital. She had earlier tested positive for H1N1 and was also suffering from diabetes, a release from the Directorate of Health Services said. This is the fourth swine flu death in Kerala this month.

Officials say 14 more cases have been reported, taking the total to 359 since January this year. The Department of Health claims it has stepped up measures to test, detect, and treat the infection.

According to a release from the Directorate of Health Services, a 59-year-old man of Pallimoola in Thrissur district died in a private hospital on July 10. He tested positive for the swine flu virus and the death was caused by broncho pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), it said.

In another case, a 42-year-old woman, whose H1NI status was confirmed, died in a private hospital in Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district yesterday, also due to ARDS, it said.

 Nine of the newly reported cases were from Thrissur and five from Kannur. Kozhikode accounted for 115 cases reported since January this year, followed by Malappuram 66, Kasargode 38, Kannur 40, Thrissur 40, Wyanad 24, Kottayam 10, Ernakulam 10, Alapuzha 10, Kannur five, Palakkad three, Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam one each, the release said.

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