After surfacing in India earlier this month, the swine flu (H1N1) has continued to spread at a fairly rapid pace, with 12 confirmed deaths in only a few weeks. About 130 swine flu cases have been confirmed so far.
Despite the growing number of cases, government officials in the region insisted that people remain calm. “The health ministry is monitoring the situation and there is no cause for worry. The states where cases had been reported have been advised to step up surveillance to control the further spread of the virus,” Health Secretary PK Pradhan told the Press Trust of India news agency.
Goa, one of India’s smallest states, issued an alert in response to the growing number of H1N1 cases in neighboring Maharashtra. No cases of the swine flu have been reported in Goa so far, but health officials in the state are urging all health centers to be on the lookout for symptoms of the virus.
India was also hit by the 2009 swine flu outbreak that infected more than 13,000 people worldwide, with 1,200 or more believed to have died due to complications from the H1N1 virus. Roughly 450 people died in India alone.
The BBC reported that some are suggesting that the recent surge in swine flu cases could be a “short spurt”, and that there’s no indication that we’re looking at anything close to the 2009 outbreak.
“Last year globally, swine flu was at an ebb. While short spurts are being recorded in other countries this year, it could well be a short spell where the virus will surge and then die down,” Dr AC Mishra told The Indian Express newspaper.