swine flu, H1N1
swine flu, H1N1Reuters

Swine flu killed six more people in Karnataka on Tuesday, taking the death toll from the airborne disease to 25 till date.

Three fatalities were reported from areas under Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), while Tumkuru, Bengaluru Rural and Bengaluru Urban witnessed one death each, The Hindu reported.

At present, 372 people are being treated for H1N1 in the state, according to The New Indian Express.

The H1N1 epidemic has created panic across Karnataka. People suffering from mild cold and cough can be seen either rushing to the pharmacies or contacting government helplines for Tamiflu tablets.

Tamiflu tablets are not sold over-the-counter. They are supplied at the government or private hospitals on detecting symptoms of H1N1.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru reported a shortage of H1N1 testing kits and Oseltamivir syrup, a medicine used to treat H1N1 in children, according to a Deccan Herald report.  

Doctors said an increase in the number of people seeking medical help this month has emptied the testing kits faster than previous months.

"There is an increasing demand. Usually each month just about 25 cases would be screened. But this time the number has gone up to 100," a senior doctor from Manipal Hospitals, told the Deccan Herald.

Karnataka health minister UT Khader said there was no need to panic as the government has taken all necessary steps to keep the situation under control.

"Our health officials are creating awareness and treating patients with H1N1 symptoms," he said, while addressing reporters at a press conference held in Mangaluru, on Monday, S.O. News Service reported. "The department is equipped to control the epidemic," he added later.

During the talk he also revealed the state government's plans to open more hi-tech labs for swine flu testing. Currently, this facility is available only in five hospitals. Manipal Hospitals' Bengaluru and Manipal labs; Narayana Hrudayalaya ; Nimhans Bangalore and Command Hospital include among them.

Minister also said the state has enough Tamiflu tablets to treat patients.