Swine flu outbreak kills 76 in Indian state of Rajasthan

Swine flu outbreak kills 76 in Indian state of Rajasthan

Rajasthan had the most deaths as well as the most cases - 72 persons died until January 27, and 1,856 tested positive for H1N1 virus.

Colder weather has worsened the seasonal outbreak of the H1N1 virus, with Rajasthan recording more than a third of all swine flu deaths in India, officials said.

The worst affected area was Jodhpur district, which recorded 23 of the 76 deaths in the state so far this month.

Rajasthan is just a snapshot of the overall picture in India however, as this year there have already been 4,571 confirmed cases and 169 deaths from H1N1 by January 27.

The health ministry has held a meeting with states and Union territories in a bid to counter the spread of the virus, PTI reported. It also asked them to keep beds reserved in hospitals to deal with acute cases.

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The state health official said a team from the National Centre for Disease Control has now arrived in Jodhpur to investigate the outbreak.

"There is sufficient stock of swine flu drug Oseltamivir and also there is no scarcity of N95 masks and diagnostic kits".

Asked why the health ministry's data doesn't include the fatalities reported by these two hospitals in the city, a senior health ministry official said, "Our data is based on the figures given by state governments".

Doctors said the severity of the current outbreak in Rajasthan was partly due to colder than normal weather.

The dos and don'ts mention covering nose and mouth with disposable tissue or handkerchief while coughing or sneezing, washing hands with soap and water frequently, avoiding crowding places, maintaining isolation, drinking plenty of liquid and consulting doctor. A vast number of different diseases can circulate during this time, many hangovers from previous major outbreaks such as Swine flu - which made rounds in 2009 as a pandemic. He was later treated and discharged. At present, seven positive cases and 8 others having symptoms of swine flu are under observation.

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