Swine flu has claimed two more lives — both women aged 27— in the country's IT hub, pushing up the State-wide toll to five, health officials said on Sunday.

Shamshad Begum and Shilpa Hegde fell prey to the disease at different hospitals here last night, with their test reports confirming H1N1 status, officials said.

Admitted to Baptist Hospital on August 10, Ms. Begum was suffering from shortness of breath for the past three months and from cough, fever and cold lately, Medical Superintendent Chandy Abraham said.

Ms. Begum was diagnosed as patient with cardiovascular problem and signs of early pneumonia but she later showed symptoms of A (H1N1) influenza and her throat swab tested positive last night, Abraham and a health official said.

Ms. Begum, who was in the ICU, showed signs of improvement initially but her condition deteriorated in the last three days, Abraham said.

Ms. Shilpa, who was admitted to St John's Hospital on August 12 with complaints of cough, cold and body-ache, died late last night, officials said.

Her throat swabs were collected on August 13 and sent for tests but she was put on Tamiflu tablets even before the test reports came. The H1N1 infection in her case was confirmed on August 14, officials said.

Abraham said the staff, who came in contact with Begum and her relatives, have also been put on Tamiflu tablets.

Stepping up its efforts, Karnataka government had on Saturday decided to rope in 53 private hospitals to fight the pandemic.

More In: Karnataka | National | News | States