Swine Flu: Death toll crosses 650; infection may subside with change in weather, say experts

New Delhi, Feb 18: With the number of swine flu cases continuously increasing in India, experts are saying that it would subside when the temperature will increase in the coming days.

Swine Flu to subside soon: Experts
Experts are advising people not to panic as they believe the that with the increase in temperature in the coming days, the Swine Flu cases will slowly decline as the H1N1 virus cannot survive in high temperature.

The death toll in swine flu in 2015 has jumped to 585. The total number of swine flu deaths had stood at 485 till February 12 but the latest official data released on Monday said that 100 more people had succumbed to the H1N1 virus in the last three days till February 15, taking the toll to 585.

More than 70 people across the country succumbed to swine flu in just two days since Feb. 10 as the toll from the disease so far this year reached 485, which is more than double the number of deaths reported in the whole of 2014.

Even as the Union Health Ministry seems to be searching for an explanation behind the sudden spurt in the incidence of the disease, official data said that the total number of cases of swine flu reported till Feb. 12 this year has reached 6,298.

After the ministry reported 216 deaths due to swine flu in the first 10 days of February -- which had put the toll between Jan. 1 and Feb. 10 at 407 -- it today said that the number of casualties till Feb. 12 stands at 485.

In 2014, there were 937 reported cases of swine flu and the disease had claimed 218 lives.

"This year, there have been 6,298 cumulative cases while there have been 485 deaths from January 1 to February 12," said Arun Panda, additional secretary, Health ministry.

As per the data, Rajasthan has seen the maximum 130 deaths due to swine flu while 1,631 cases have been reported in the state till Feb. 12. In Gujarat, in the same period, 117 people have died of swine flu with the state reporting 1,233 cases.

Fifty-six people died in Madhya Pradesh, which reported 192 cases, while there have been 51 casualties in Maharashtra out of the 352 cases which came to light there till Feb. 12.

In Telangana, 45 people have died due to the disease while 969 cases have been reported so far. In Delhi, although the number of deaths stood at six, 1,189 cases have been reported till now in the national capital.

"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... The virus is the same H1N1 strain since 2009. There has been no mutation.

"So, it's very difficult to explain why in a particular year it has come down so drastically and, then, the very next year, it shot up again," Panda said, adding, however, that "the rise is a cause of concern".

With more and more swine flu cases being reported from across the country, Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Tuesday night chaired a high-level review meeting. In the meeting, the officials assessed reports from states and measures to deal with the infectious disease, sources said.

There has been a sharp rise in swine flu deaths, with over 100 reported in just the last three days. 631 people have so far died due to the disease this year. The number of people affected by the flu is 9,311 this year so far, much more than past few years.

OneIndia News

(With inputs from agencies)

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