With 100 deaths in 3,987 laboratory confirmed positive H1N1 cases,India has registered a mortality rate of 2.3 per cent much above the 0.9 per cent mortality rate for the rest of the world.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO),as on August 21,there have been 1,799 deaths in total 182,000 laboratory confirmed cases across the world,which makes 0.9 per cent the mortality rate across the world.
The 2.3 per cent mortality rate is higher compared to the rest of the world,but we are the only country which is looking at laboratory confirmed cases as positive. Other countries are not testing and have included people with flu-like symptoms as positive, said Dr S K Srivastava,Director General of Health Services.
With 584 deaths,Brazil tops the list of countries reporting fatalities due to the H1N1 virus. The mortality rate in Brazil is 0.29 per cent. However,if one takes into consideration the 5,206 laboratory confirmed cases,the mortality rate is 10 per cent much higher than Indias. Brazil is followed by the US with 525 deaths,Argentina with 439 and Mexico with 179 deaths,according to the WHO. India is at the eighth position as far as the number of swine flu deaths is concerned.
Argentina has a mortality rate of 1.08 per cent. However,if one takes into account the 7,173 laboratory confirmed cases,the mortality rate from 439 deaths is 6.1 per cent.
The US has stopped posting figures pertaining to positive cases on its official website and has the figures for hospitalisation,instead. As of August 21,7,983 hospitalisations were reported in the US. If we take hospitalisation as the denominator,the death percentage is much higher, said Srivastava. Look at our population and the number of confirmed cases we have. There are lakhs of cases in Argentina and they take the percentage from these figures and not necessarily from the laboratory confirmed cases, he added.
The WHO has estimated that more than two billion people will be affected by the virus within two years. Earlier this week,a White House panel said 90,000 deaths are likely due to H1N1 virus in the US.
The Health Ministry is trying to generate its own data to help the government estimate the fund required to control the disease in the country.
We dont want to go by the disease models that other people in the world are following. Instead,we want to arrive at our independent estimates. But it will take time, said Srivastava.
The ministry has held informal meetings with several public health experts and the Public Health Foundation of India.
Next week we will be able to finalise a group of experts for this purpose, said Dr V M Katoch,DG of ICMR,and Secretary,Health Research,Ministry of Health.