Lifestyle & Belief

India: Swine flu kills more than 260 this year


A boy is vaccinated against the AH1N1 influenza virus (known as swine flu) in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on March 28.



NEW DELHI, India — Swine flu has killed 261 people in India this year, with most deaths reported in Rajasthan.

Some 2,329 people have tested positive for Influenza A, also known as H1N1, which causes swine flu, across 35 states and union territories The Times of India reported. The highest number of cases, 834, was in Delhi, followed by 564 in Rajasthan and 305 in Haryana.

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India's health ministry said Rajasthan saw 107 deaths because of swine flu, with Gujarat coming in second with 51, Haryana with 36 and Punjab with 32 deaths, News Track India reported. The ministry also noted that in the past four years, the highest number of swine flu cases was in 2009 at 27,236, followed by 20,604 cases in 2010 and 5,054 in 2012.

The highest number of deaths due to swine flu was in 2011, with 1,763.

One India News noted that since the number of swine flu cases has been increasing, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has launched a campaign to combat the problem.

"I have asked the Health department to launch a campaign through the media and outdoor advertising to increase awareness on symptoms and precautions that can and should be taken," she said during a meeting to address the situation.

However, the swine flu epidemic has been relegated to the back pages and failed to spark much interest from the country's shouting television anchors. With disastrous public hygiene and a failed health care system critics say disregards the poor, India is highly vulnerable to disease.