Shimla/Chennai: This year’s first swine flu death was registered on Saturday in Himachal Pradesh after a 55-year-old woman succumbed to H1N1 virus infection in Shimla. The lady was tested H1NI positive recently, a state health department official confirmed.

The woman who died at Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla was referred to the hospital from Sarkaghat in Mandi district after she complained of fever and cough and tested positive for H1N1, Medical Superintendent Dr K S Rana said.

"She was brought here at a very late stage when the lungs normally get affected and could not be saved" he added.

This was the first case of swine flu and first casualty in the state and as a precaution, all cases of fever and cough are being tested for swine flu virus, he added.

As a precaution, the State Surveillance unit has already sounded an alert in the state and directions have been issued to all the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and Medical Colleges to remain vigilant and test all influenza like cases for swine flu.

Meanwhile, sources in IGMC said five samples were tested for swine flu on Friday but they tested negative.

Twenty-nine persons have so far tested positive for the disease in Tamil Nadu, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr VS Vijay said. However, instances of the virus are not "endemic but sporadic," he said asking people not to panic.

Those who have tested positive mainly hail from the districts of Chennai, Coimbatore and Tirupur, he told reporters in Chennai.

A 75 year-old farmer from Tirupur district died due to swine flu last week. Twenty-six of his relatives have been administered with preventive vaccine, the minister said.