India has reported 1366 deaths from H1N1 swine flu infection in the country as of 25th February 2010, according to an official communique from the ministry of health and family welfare issued by Press Information Bureau.
India has tested samples from 128267 persons for Influenza A H1N1 in government laboratories and a few private laboratories across the country till date and 29599 or 23.0% of them have been reported positive.
The western state of Maharashtra comes first with 362 deaths among the total 1366 lab confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu deaths.
Maharashtra is followed by other states – Gujarat and Rajasthan -in the western region with 289 and 192 deaths respectively.
Maharashtra has 5493 lab confirmed cases of H1N1 infection while Gujarat and Rajathan have 1206 and 2189 each.
Delhi has the highest number of lab confirmed cases of H1n1 infection: 9686. However, India’s capital city registered only 95 cumulative number of deaths from swine flu.
Amoang the southern states, Karnataka accounted for the highest casualties with 148 deaths and 2124 case of lab confirmed infections.
Andhra Pradesh reported 52 deaths and 782 infections while the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala registered 7 deaths 2084 confirmed infections and 37 deaths and 1468 infections respectively.
The north-eastern states of West Bengal, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and nothern states of Bihar, Jharkhand as well as union territories Daman Diu, Andaman Nicobar reported zero deaths from swine flu.
It was reported earlier that H1N1 influenza or swine flu infections could continue in India for one more year.
Even though the trend in H1N1 swine flu infection is on the decline globally, it has now started showing up in places which are new. So, naturally India may have to face another year of swine flu infection, according to V M Katoch, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“In places where swine flu cases were already reported, it has been contained. But we found that it is spreading to new pockets and hence we face the challenge for one more year. It is like a flood and will take some time to recede,” V M Katoch stated.
World Health Organisation recently reported that there is still intensive virus activity in some countries including India, even though H1N1 swine flu started waning in other parts of the world including US and Europe.
India was to begin vaccination against H1N1 swine flu in the country by March this year as the first batches of imported vaccine from Sanofi-Pasteur will arrive India by the end of February.
India’s ministry of health placed an order with the french vaccine maker Sanofi-Pasteur to import 1.5 million doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccines in December last year.
The first H1N1 vaccine lots from Sanofi-Pasteur was expected to be available in India as early as January 2010. However, contrary to the expectation, the availability of the H1N1 vaccine has been delayed as Sanofi-Pasteur is yet to complete the mandatory human trials before launching the vaccine in India, according to Drug Controller General of India Surinder Singh.
The imported H1N1 vaccines from Sanofi-Pasteur will be mainly used for the high-risk group of medical practitioners.
Sanofi-Pasteur’s H1N1 vaccine will cost around Rs.300 per dose in India.
The India-made H1N1 swine flu vaccines will not be available before April.