New Delhi: Health Ministry officials are worried as the numbers of swine flu cases reported from various parts of the country are increasing with the monsoon. A total of 548 fresh cases were reported last week, the highest for the current year.
According to the health ministry, 38 people died of the virus between July 19 and 25.
While the four southern states and Maharashtra continued to be severely hit, West Bengal and Delhi also joined the list of flu cases.
Maharashtra reported the highest number, with 230 cases this week, followed by Kerala with 108 cases. Karnataka reported 86 cases while Andhra Pradesh and Delhi reported 34 each, followed by West Bengal with 29 cases. Tamil Nadu reported 11 cases.
As many as 19 deaths were reported from Maharashtra, eight from Kerala, five from Andhra Pradesh, two in Delhi and one in West Bengal.
A handful of cases have also been reported from Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the health ministry has recommended the use of swine flu vaccines to avoid the threat.
"The moisture because of monsoon is giving a good breeding ground to the virus, precautionary measures such as washing of hands, covering the nose and avoiding crowded places must be followed," said a health ministry official.
According to the health ministry, 1,692 deaths have been reported because of swine flu since its outbreak in May last year.