February 14, 2015 12:50:30 am
In the last 24 hours, the government said 78 more deaths from swine flu were reported across the country, even as the Health Ministry held its first official H1N1 briefing of the year. Additional Secretary A K Panda said there is no cause for panic and there are enough medicines in stock.
The total swine flu toll in the country this year stands at 485. This is more than twice the total number of deaths due to swine flu in 2014. The total number of cases reported this year is 6,298.
At 130, Rajasthan has seen the maximum number of deaths this year, followed by Gujarat with 117. Fifty-six people died in Madhya Pradesh while there have been 51 casualties in Maharashtra.
Stating that there have been no mutation in the strain of H1N1 since 2006, Panda said: “The incidence (of swine flu) and deaths happen during this time of the year. It does not happen in May, June or even March. It is inversely proportional to the ambient temperature. Once the temperature shoots up, the incidence comes down. There is no explanation and reason behind this spurt.”
Giving the yearly data, Panda said that in 2009 (May to December), 27,236 cases were reported with the disease claiming 981 lives. In 2010, 20,604 swine flu cases were reported and there were 1,763 deaths; while in 2011, there were 603 cases and 75 deaths. In 2012, there were 5,044 cases with 405 persons succumbing to the disease; while in 2013, 5,253 cases were reported and there were 699 deaths.
There were 937 cases of swine flu reported in 2014 with the death toll at 218.
Asked if there was any proposal of providing vaccines to health workers who come in contact with swine flu patients, Panda said that the ministry was drafting guidelines based on the recommendations of experts.
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