Swine flu toll in India climbs to four

NEW YORK: Two more people have died from swine flu in India taking the death toll to four, an official said today, as the government reviewed measures to control the virus.

The latest deaths were reported overnight from the western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, a federal health ministry spokesman said.

One of the dead was a 43-year-old who arrived in Gujarat on July 31 from the United States, his uncle told AFP by phone.

The other was a 42-year-old Maharashtra school teacher, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

According to Indian health authorities, about 800 people have tested positive for the A(H1N1) viral infection, which was first reported in Mexico and the United States in April.

A health ministry statement said 511 of the 800 had been treated successfully, adding that swine flu was also responsible for the death Saturday of a 53-year-old woman from Mumbai who was suffering other medical problems.

India’s first swine flu casualty was 14-year-old girl who died on Monday.

Following the increase in infections across the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ordered the health ministry to co-ordinate action with state governments, a spokesman said.

The World Health Organisation said last week that more than 1,150 people have died from swine flu and the virus was now in 168 countries and territories. Nearly 90 per cent of deaths have been in the Americas.