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Swine flu toll 1,587; cases reported 27,886: Health Minister J P Nadda

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With number of swine flu cases crossing 27,880, government on Tuesday said the virus would continue to circulate though no mutation was taking place.

A total of 27,886 swine flu cases have been reported from different parts of the country since January 1 (up to March 11), Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.

While a total of 1,587 deaths have taken place during the period, Rajasthan topped the list with 6,093 number of cases, closely followed by Gujarat with 5,894 cases, he said.

Quoting a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, he said the pandemic influenza virus would “continue to circulate” as seasonal influenza virus causing sporadic cases and outbreaks of various intensities.

“No mutation is taking place…the virus has mutated at this point of time,” the Minister said, adding that the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune was constantly keeping a watch on the virus.

The Minister further said measures to prevent the spread of the virus starts in December and Centre provides all possible help to states to deal with swine flu cases.

He said Centre has been assisting the affected states and union territories by providing logistic support for drug, masks, personal protective equipment and vaccines.

The Minister also said that vaccination for the flu was not recommended by experts.

Taking a dig at the ‘Gujarat Model of Development”, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh sought to know why there were so many swine flu cases in that state, while it was less Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Nadda said it could be due to a “very good” survelliance system for the virus detection in Gujarat.

“The virus spreads sporadically. It does not decide the area. Good luck to Tamil Nadu …The survelliance system in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh has been very good…They (people of Gujarat) have got themselves tested that is why numbers are high,” he added.

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