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Swine Flu Affects 900 People in India | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Students and a teacher wear protective masks during a class at a school in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad March 2, 2015. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi, London The German News Agency reported that an increase in swine flu cases in India has caused more than 900 deaths since January, Health Ministry officials.

The numbers are almost triple the swine flu deaths recorded in all of 2016, but less than the 1,786 deaths recorded in 2015. Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by the virus H1N1 whose symptoms include sore throats, coughs and fever. The first human outbreak was in 2009, according to the World Health Organization.

Anil Bansal of the Delhi Medical Association said the elderly, infants and those suffering from chronic diseases are particularly susceptible to the H1N1 virus.

Of the 19,000 cases of swine flu reported between January 1 and August 13, 2017, most were reported in the western state of Maharashtra. The largest number of deaths recorded until August 13 were reported from Maharashtra (409) and Gujarat (190), according to Health Ministry data.

At least 50 people had died of swine flu in Gujarat over the past week, taking the toll to 242, according to a bulletin issued by the state government on Friday.