Five more deaths take India's swine flu toll to 290 | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Five more deaths take India's swine flu toll to 290

delhi Updated: Sep 26, 2009 21:56 IST

Five more swine flu deaths - four in Karnataka and one in Andhra Pradesh - were reported on Saturday, taking India's toll due to the influenza A (H1N1) virus to 290, health authorities said in New Delhi.

Three more suspected swine flu deaths have been reported from Andhra Pradesh, but officials said they were awaiting the laboratory reports for confirmation.

Meanwhile, 208 fresh swine flu cases were reported in the country, taking the total number of people infected with the flu to 9,492.

The fresh cases were reported from Delhi (66), Tamil Nadu (32), Maharashtra (32), Andhra Pradesh (24), Karnataka (18), Kerala (13) and Haryana (13).

Globally, a total of 3,917 people have died of H1N1 since the outbreak of the viral disease in April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a latest update.

Of all the deaths, 2,948 occurred in the Americas, followed by 362 deaths in the West Pacific region. The other four WHO regional offices in Southeast Asia, Europe, East Mediterranean and Africa reported 340, 154, 72 and 41 deaths respectively.

The WHO, which declared a swine flu pandemic in June, said the total number of laboratory confirmed cases worldwide is now over 318,925, but this estimate is significantly lower than the actual number of cases that have occurred, as many countries have stopped testing and reporting individual cases, particularly the milder ones.

Saudi Arabian has written to several swine flu-affected countries, including India, advising those at a high risk of catching swine flu, like children, pregnant women and people suffering from chronic ailments, to avoid Haj pilgrimage and help curb the spread of the pandemic.

"Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recommends that elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases and children should postpone the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages this year for their own safety," the advisory from Saudi Arabia said.

According to India's health ministry, those wishing to go on the pilgrimage would be medically examined for the symptoms of influenza A (H1N1) at the point of embarkation, that is at the place where booking of pilgrims takes place in their respective states.