New Delhi : Swine flu has claimed over 1,000 lives so far this year, which is four times more than deaths recorded last year, with a total of 22,186 cases reported across the country till now, data from the Union health ministry revealed.
Maharashtra has the highest death toll with 437 people succumbing to H1N1 infections, followed by Gujarat at 269, Kerala at 73, and Rajasthan at 69. According to the data, India recorded 1,094 swine flu deaths and 22,186 cases till August 20, compared to 265 deaths and 1,786 cases in 2016.
Maharashtra, till August 20, recorded 4,245 cases followed by Gujarat (3,029), Tamil Nadu (2,994) and Karnataka (2,956). The national capital so far has recorded 1,719 H1N1 infections and five deaths. As per the data, 342 people have died in August alone as compared to six deaths in the same period last year.
The country witnessed the worst outbreak of the H1N1 influenza in the pandemic years of 2009-10 when the disease killed over 2,700 people and affected around 50,000 others. H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu, is a respiratory flu with symptoms like fever, sore throat, headache, cough, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.
Like other strains of the flu, H1N1 is highly contagious, and spreads quickly from person to person. It was declared a pandemic in 2009 by the World Health Organisation.