Three staff of a government hospital here have tested positive for swine flu, taking the total number of fresh cases in the state to five.

Two nurses and a ward boy of Shillong Civil Hospital are suspected to have contracted the virus from the two patients, both from the United States, who were taken ill and have also tested positive for the H1N1 virus a few days back.

State’s Director of Health Services K H Lakiang today said the patients have been isolated and the department was currently screening people who have come in contact with them.

The two US citizens who were on a visit to Shillong for a Church meeting reported sick with swine flu-like symptoms on October 30. Their nasal and throat samples were sent to National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata, which confirmed they were positive.

Two days later the throat samples of nine people, including five nurses and a ward boy -- who was admitted with flu like symptoms -- were sent to the laboratory at Dibrugarh.

Three of them were found to be positive.

More than a dozen people who have come in contact with the patients have been isolated as a precautionary measure and treated with Tamiflu medicines, hospital sources said.

Earlier, Meghalaya has recorded six positive cases of swine flu and they were treated and discharged from hospitals.