(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) At least 12 deaths have been reported in a swine
flu outbreak across four Indian states, dpa quoted health ministry officials
as saying Friday.
The outbreak has affected a total of 129 people since the
beginning of March and many of the patients were still hospitalized,
health ministry spokeswoman Shefali Saran said.
The western state of Maharashtra was the worst hit, with six
deaths in and around Pune, the state's second-largest city after
Five people died of the virus in the north-western state of
Rajasthan while one person died in southern state of Andhra Pradesh,
data released by the ministry showed.
Another southern state, Karnataka, confirmed five cases of the
Saran said the situation was 'under control and there was no
panic.' The health ministry had asked state authorities to step up
surveillance to stop the spread of the disease,' Saran said.
Officials said it was not immediately clear why there was a sudden
outbreak of the disease.
'Last year globally, swine flu was at an ebb,' National Institute
of Virology director AC Mishra told The Indian Express daily.
'While short spurts are being recorded in other countries this
year, it could well be a short spell where the virus will surge and
then die down,' he said.
More than 1,800 people have died of swine flu across India since
May 2009, most of them during an outbreak during that month,
according to Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.