BANGALORE - Members of the medical fraternity across Bangalore's hospitals are undergoing special screening tests for the H1N1 virus, after seven doctors in the city tested positive for swine flu recently.

The seven are from Victoria Hospital and Bowring Hospital, informed a health department official.

"Hospitals across Bangalore are conducting special screening tests for H1N1 virus among its doctors to keep the pandemic at bay. It's not just the doctors and nurses treating swine flu patients who are at the risk of getting infected by the virus, but medical staff in every hospital is at risk, as they come across people who are suffering from swine flu," principal secretary for health I.R. Perumal told IANS.

Health officials maintain that medical staff are taking all precautionary measures including using triple layered masks and special hand sanitisers.

"While treating swine flu patients, doctors take adequate measures not to get themselves infected by the H1N1 virus. However, every day medical staff treat patients who are yet to be tested positive for the virus without any protection," said Shashidhar Buggi, director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD), Bangalore's main hospital treating swine flu patients.

Health officials maintain that there is adequate supply of masks to hospitals and all the medical staff including doctors are being educated about the protective measures.

"Initially, prophylactic dosages of Tamiflu were being administered to doctors and paramedical staff. However, we've stopped the process. Prophylactic dosage of Tamiflu does not give permanent protection from H1N1 virus. If medical staff develop swine flu later, Tamiflu will not have any effect on their body," Perumal said.

At least 55 doctors and paramedical staff across Bangalore have shown symptoms of swine flu so far.

Karnataka has the second highest number of swine flu related deaths in the country after Maharashtra. The state has already registered 111 swine flu related deaths. Of them, 82 were in Bangalore. The total number of confirmed swine flu cases in the state till date is 1,392, health officials stated.