The H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu, has claimed 7,996 lives across India from May 2009, when the first case was reported, to July 9, 2017, the latest date for which data available, according to this reply by health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament) on July 18, 2017.

As many as 600 people have died and 12,460 infected due to swine flu till July 9 this year, Nadda said.

Maharashtra reported the most 284 (47%) swine flu deaths till the first week of July, followed by Gujarat (75) and Kerala (63).

Swine flu cases are on the rise across the country. The virus is making news as actor Aamir Khan and wife Kiran Rao have also contracted the virus.

As many as 116,515 cases of swine flu have been reported across the country from May 2009 to July 9, 2017. There were 2,990 deaths in 2015 due to swine flu.

Source: Press Information Bureau Rajya Sabha

Note: Figures for 2009 from May to December; 2017 figures upto July 9.

Over the last eight years, Maharashtra reported the most deaths (2,486) due to swine flu, followed by Gujarat (1,420) and Rajasthan (1,147).

H1N1 is a respiratory infection that spreads through coughs, sneezes and touch. Short-distance airborne transmission of the influenza virus may occur, particularly in crowded enclosed spaces.

A mutation in the H1N1 virus could be one explanation for its growing virulence, IndiaSpend reported on March 11, 2015.

(Mallapur is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

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