Swine flu has already killed 169 persons in India in less than a month of 2019, and the virus has affected 4,571 people so far, data from the National Centre for Disease Control showed. Rajasthan had the most deaths as well as the most cases – 72 persons died until January 27, and 1,856 tested positive for H1N1 virus.

The number of deaths in Gujarat was 20 and the number of cases 576 till January 27. Delhi had the third highest number of cases – 479 – in the period. No death has been reported in the capital city so far. Haryana had 363 cases and two deaths until January 26.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by a strain of the H1N1 influenza. The strain originated in pigs, but is now a human disease with symptoms similar to those of a seasonal flu. The symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and chills. Pregnant women, children under five, the elderly and those with serious medical ailments and impaired immune systems are susceptible to the flu.

The health ministry has held a meeting with states and Union territories in a bid to counter the spread of the virus, PTI reported. “There is sufficient stock of swine flu drug Oseltamivir and also there is no scarcity of N95 masks and diagnostic kits,” an unidentified health ministry official said. “Further, states have been asked to issue advisories to people mentioning the dos and don’ts.”

In 2018, the disease killed 1,103 people and affected 14,992.