Health officials in India reported a total of 6803 cases of swine flu nationwide as of Monday, October 22. In addition, at least 542 associated deaths have been confirmed. The most affected states include Maharashtra (1793 cases and 217 deaths), Rajasthan (1912 cases and 191 deaths), and Gujarat (1478 cases and 45 deaths). Hospitals in affected areas have been placed on high alert. Nevertheless, further cases are likely in the coming weeks.
India experiences regular seasonal influenza outbreaks, particularly during monsoon season (which runs from June to September). H1N1 is a contagious virus that can spread from human to human. Symptoms of the disease include a sudden onset of high fever, aching muscles, headache, and severe dizziness. Individuals most at risk include pregnant women, children, elderly persons, and otherwise immunocompromised people. In 2015, India experienced its worst outbreak of swine flu disease with over 42,500 cases reported, nearly 3000 of which proved fatal.
All those present in India are advised to take basic hygienic measures to reduce their risk of contracting the flu (e.g. frequent hand washing) and to consider getting vaccinated. People developing the above symptoms are advised to seek medical attention.
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