Friday, February 13, 2015

Swine Flu Kills More Than 400 People in India (So Far) This Year, Double All of 2014


NEW DELHI – At least 407 people died from swine flu between Jan. 1 and Feb. 10 this year in India, which is nearly double the amount of registered deaths caused by the disease in all of 2014, a government official told Efe on Thursday.

A total of 5,157 people have so far contracted the H1N1 virus in 2015, compared to the 937 cases in 2014 when 216 died of the disease, Health Ministry spokesperson Manisha Verma confirmed.

The authorities have attributed the increase in swine flu cases to lower temperatures than normal this winter.

Health Secretary B.P. Sharma attended on Wednesday a high level meeting to evaluate the threat posed by the virus, where it was decided to vaccinate health workers in contact with swine flu patients.

“To enhance the level of preparedness, an additional 60,000 Oseltamivir (Tamilflu) doses and 10,000 N-95 masks are being procured,” said a statement released by the government after the meeting.

Maharashtra (in western India), Madhya Pradesh (central), Gujarat (west), Rajasthan (northwest) and Telengana (south) are the regions that are most severely affected by the virus.

Swine flu accounted for 981 deaths in India in 2009, 1,763 in 2010, 75 in 2011, 405 in 2012 and 692 in 2013.


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