Saturday, February 21, 2015

Swine Flu Deaths in India Rise to 703 So Far This Year


NEW DELHI – The death toll from swine flu in India has risen to 703 so far this year, with a total of 11,071 cases reported, a senior health official told Efe on Friday.

India’s Director General of Health, Dr. Jagdish Prasad, confirmed the high incidence of the H1N1 virus in 2014 where the death toll tripled from the year before when it stood at 216.

Prasad added the government was working to control the outbreak by providing logistical support to hospitals, supplies of the Tamiflu drug used to treat it, masks, diagnostic equipment and information to the public to prevent the infection from spreading in homes and communities.

The government has also sent teams of experts to the most affected states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujurat, Rajasthan and Telangana – to study the pattern of the deaths.

On Thursday, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda told local television channels that that there was no need to panic but that one needed to remain alert, adding that the disease was being monitored on a daily basis.

In the capital New Delhi, where six people died from H1N1 in 2014, officials have ordered all private medical labs not to charge more than Rs 4,500 ($72) to carry out tests of swine flu after complaints of overcharging, according to the newspaper Indian Express.

The flu claimed 981 lives in India in 2009, 1,763 in 2010, 75 in 2011, 405 in 2012 and 692 in 2013.


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