Swine flu situation grave in five states
The swine flu situation continues to be serious in the four southern states and Maharashtra, which have reported 366 of the 370 H1N1 infections in the last one week, official figures show.
Kerala remains the worst affected state with 222 confirmed reports of swine flu. A rise in number of swine flu cases has been reported from all severely affected states with Maharashtra reporting 72 cases, Karnataka 31, Tamil Nadu 22, and Andhra Pradesh 19.
During the last week 16 people have died due to the virus, with 10 of these being reported from Kerala while four from Maharashtra and two from Andhra Pradesh.
“With the launch of our first indigenous swine flu vaccine, we are definitely better prepared to handle the threat. We will be having three more vaccines soon,” a health ministry official said.
However when asked about the growing number of infections in the southern part of the country and the unpopularity of the vaccine, the official said that lack of awareness was to be blamed.
“There is lack of awareness about the vaccine. Even though the stocks are there not many are willing to take the vaccine,” the official said.
Three cases of swine flu have also been reported from Gujarat, while one case was reported from Uttar Pradesh last week.
The national capital has so far been more or less free from the virus with only three minor cases being reported in over two months.
India's first indigenous swine flu vaccine was launched by Zydus Cadila last month. The vaccines has however not proved to be popular till now with people and even health professionals being unaware and uncertain about its benefits and implications.