Swine flu
Karanataka and Telengana is seeing an uptick in the number of Swine Flu casesReuters

Authorities in Hyderabad have been on high alert after swine flu, also called pig influenza, caused by the H1N1 strain of the Swine Influenza Virus, has resulted in over five deaths in the last two weeks.

Ramesh Reddy, Director of Medical Education of Telangana, said that cases of swine flu are increasing in Hyderabad, reports India Today. "Till now, five persons have died due to swine flu. Two patients were admitted in Osmania General Hospital and they died while undergoing treatment for swine flu."

"Three other patients were admitted in Gandhi General Hospital and later died. All the government hospitals are now on alert and swine flu kits are available with them," said Reddy. H1N1 virus is the strain of the SIV that is most common in the Indian subcontinent, notes the report.

Spread through the air, when an infected person coughs or sneezes tiny droplets can either infect a surface or directly enter another person through the mouth or nose. If a person should touch an infected surface and then touch the mouth, the virus can take hold as well.

The H1N1 virus spreads when an individual touches an infected surface or breathes droplets of coughs and sneezes that are in the air. While it's not clear exactly how long the contagious period is for H1N1 flu, a report by the Johns Hopkins Institute said that researchers believe it is similar to a general seasonal flu. It could last for about a day in the host body before symptoms start to appear, then seven days, while the patient carries the symptoms that include cough, sore throat, and body aches, same as any cold.

Apart from Telangana, Karnataka has also been affected by swine flu outbreak, over 450 people have apparently been tested positive for the H1N1 virus in the state and since January, at least 5 people have died, reports TimesNow.