States put on high alert as swine flu cases spike across the country

1694 cases and 49 deaths have been reported in first 2 weeks of January; situation alarming in Rajasthan where 200 people died in 13 months

Updated - December 03, 2021 10:15 am IST

Published - January 22, 2019 10:59 pm IST - New Delhi

Image for representational purpose only.

Image for representational purpose only.

With 49 swine flu deaths and 1,694 cases reported in just one fortnight from January 1-13 as per data released by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), several States are on alert.

Rajasthan alone has reported 31 deaths in this period with other instances being reported from Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Prdaesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

While the Rajasthan health department has reported that the number of cases in the State has crossed 1,000 with more than 200 people having died in the past 13 months, the Union Health Ministry has said that there is no cause for panic and that the situation is being closely monitored.

Highly contagious

H1N1 influenza (or swine flu) is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine flu have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in people with direct exposure to pigs (e.g., children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry). However, there have been cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu.


“All State governments have been asked to create awareness about the spread, testing and prevention of swine flu and we have also asked them to ensure that there are enough beds and medicines to treat any cases that are being reported,” noted a senior Union Health Ministry official.

The Rajasthan health department confirmed that 1,036 people had tested positive between January 1 and 17, 2019, with nine fatalities reported in one week from January 13-17. “On January 17, 65 people tested positive for the flu,” the official added.


According to Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry’s IDSP, 14,992 people contracted swine flu in 2018., while 1,103 people died. In 2017, 38,811 people tested positive with 2,270 deaths.

“Children younger than five years old and adults who are 65 years and above, patients with chronic pulmonary condition (including asthma), , neurological, neuromuscular or metabolic disorders (including diabetes), obese adults and pregnant women are in the high risk group,” said Dr. D.S. Chaddha, Fortis Hospital.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.