New Delhi | The swine flu toll inched towards the 1,900-mark as the disease claimed 32 more lives while the number of cases in the country today crossed 31,000. According to the Union Health Ministry, as on March 18, 1,841 people have succumbed to the disease while the number of people affected by the H1N1 virus stood at 31,156. Six more deaths in the last 24 hours took the toll in Rajathan to 397, just behind Gujarat, which has reported 400 casualties.
The ministry said that the number of affected persons was 6,271 in Gujarat. The death toll in Maharashtra is 322 with 3,788 people having contracted the H1N1 virus. In Madhya Pradesh, 266 people have perished with 1,999 persons affected. The toll in Telangana is 74 while in Karnataka, following the death of another person, it has risen to 77. Fifty-two swine flu deaths have been reported in Punjab. The toll in West Bengal is 23 while Uttar Pradesh has witnessed 35 deaths.
Jammu and Kashmir has seen 16 swine flu fatalities. In Delhi, following the death of a 24-year-old woman due to the disease, the toll has risen to 12 with the number of affected persons at 4,084. Meanwhile, as per a ministry study, 34 per cent of the 723 swine flu deaths that were analysed had occurred in the age group 30-45 years followed closely by those in the 45-60 bracket, who accounted for 32 per cent of the fatalities.
Further, 11 people have died in Kerala while the death toll in Tamil Nadu is at 13. Andhra Pradesh has now seen 22 swine flu fatalities after two more people fell prey to the deadly disease while 20 people have died in Himanchal Pradesh. The disease has claimed the lives of 16 people in Chhattisgarh. The health ministry study also found that 17 per cent of the deaths occurred in the age group 18-30 years while 12 per cent of the casualties were in the 60 and above category.
The ministry also said that among the victims, 50.35 per cent were women while 49.65 per cent were male. It also found that in Gujarat and Rajasthan, more than 50 per cent deaths had occurred among people with co-morbid conditions while in Karnataka it was more than 72 per cent. Co-morbidity is the presence of one or more additional diseases along side the primary one. Such persons are immuno- compromised and consequently more vulnerable.
In this category are the patients with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases. City-based doctors have maintained that swine flu cases will subside over the coming weeks due to a rise in the mercury.
Over the last few days, though the temperature has been fluctuating due to unseasonal rain, on an average it has shown an upward trend, because of which swine flu cases are on the decline, Dr Randeep Guleria, head of the Pulmonary Medicine Department at AIIMS, had said yesterday.
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