Swine flu [ Images ] claimed 344 lives this year even though the pandemic has subsided in the country, Union Health Ministry told the Lok Sabha on Friday.
In a written reply to a question in the House, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad [ Images ] said according to WHO, the infection has moved into post-pandemic period and is now circulating as seasonal influenza.
"The pandemic of Influenza A H1N1 has subsided. According to WHO, it has moved into post-pandemic period. The pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus is now circulating as seasonal influenza A H1N1 virus and sporadic outbreaks are reported from across the country," Azad said.
He also gave the figures related to number of swine flu cases and deaths thereupon in the country during the present year.
Total 4,568 cases of swine flu were registered in the country this year, with the highest number of 1493 infections being reported from Maharashtra [ Images ].
Maharashtra also reported maximum number of 125 deaths, followed by 44 fatalities in Karnataka. In Kerala, 14 people died because of the infection.33 people died in Andhra Pradesh where 310 cases of infections were reported this year.
Uttar Pradesh [ Images ], which reported 124 infection, surprisingly had no deaths due to swine flu. Tamil Nadu also succeeded in controlling the outbreak of the disease. While 590 infections were reported in Tamil Nadu, the number of people who succumbed to it was only 29.
The minister also said that Rs 2.42 crore WHO fund was utilised was spent by the government for holding District Level Training of Rapid Response Teams to contain swine flu infection.
On availability of medicine, Azad said, "Adequate stock of Oseltamivir capsules is available to treat Influenza A H1N1. Indigenous capacity is available to manufacture Influenza A H1N1 vaccine in the country."