In a matter of three weeks, the number of influenza A (H1N1) cases and deaths in India has risen sharply by about 6,200 and over 225, respectively. From 14,803 cases and 448 deaths till February 24 this year, the number of cases and deaths till March 17 has touched 20,977 and 677, respectively.
The figures have been collated by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, NCDC, Delhi, based on data from the States.
The number of cases reported till March 17 this year is far more than what was reported in the whole of 2018 (14,992) and nearly half the number of cases reported in 2015 (42,592), the year with the most number of cases and deaths since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in India.
Rajasthan continues to report the most number of cases and deaths, followed by Gujarat. In Rajasthan, the number of cases has increased from 3,964 (February 24) to 4,720 (March 17) while in Gujarat the increase has been from 2,726 to 4,296 during the same period. Though Rajasthan has about 425 cases more than Gujarat, it was Gujarat that witnessed more number of cases (1,570) than Rajasthan between February 24 and March 17. Deaths from H1N1 in Rajasthan have increased from 137 to 178, while in Gujarat the increase as been from 88 to 125.
Delhi has the third most number of cases; the number of cases has increased from 2,738 to 3,484. However, the number of H1N1 deaths in Delhi has remained constant at seven between February 24 and March 17.
The number of cases in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka (which had less than 1,000 cases till February 24) has nearly doubled in three weeks. The number of deaths too shows a spike in these States. For instance, Uttar Pradesh had 905 cases and nine deaths till February 24 but the number of cases and deaths till March 17 has increased to 1,680 and 21, respectively.
In the case of Maharashtra, the increase in the number of cases has been from 423 to 849. The number of deaths in the State has increased from 27 to 61. In the case of Karnataka, the number of cases has increased from 554 to 959; the number of deaths has increased from zero till February 24 to 14 till March 17.