Swine Flu Claims 40 More Lives, Toll Crosses 1600 Mark

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New Delhi:  Forty more people have succumbed to swine flu as the toll breached the 1600-mark while over 28,000 people have been affected by the H1N1 virus across the country.

According to Union Health Ministry data released today, till March 12, 1,627 people have perished while the number of affected stood at 28,441.

In Gujarat, the highest number of 368 people have died and while the number of affected cases was 5,969.

In Rajasthan, eight more people died, raising the toll due to the H1N1 virus to 367 since January 1, state officials said. The state has recorded 6,124 cases of the disease.

Meanwhile in Coimbatore a 38-year-old man, suffering from H1N1 influenza and undergoing treatment at the government hospital died, taking the number of swine flu deaths to seven since January in the district.

The total number of casualties was 264 in Maharashtra while those affected rose to 3,135. The death toll in Madhya Pradesh reached 221 while 1,774 people are affected.

In Delhi, 11 people have died including two pregnant women while the number of cases rose to 3,806.

The deadly virus has killed 51 people in Punjab while the death toll in Telangana is 69. Haryana has seen 44 casualties, Uttar Pradesh (35), West Bengal (18) and Karnataka (65).

Fourteen people have perished due to swine flu in Jammu and Kashmir.  Chhattisgarh too has witnessed the death of 10 people due to the virus while 18 people have perished in Andhra Pradesh.

A new study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has said that the swine flu virus in India may have acquired mutations that make it more severe and infectious than previously circulating H1N1 strains.

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