Jodhpur/Nagpur: A 70-year-old Swiss national died Thursday of the H1N1 flu virus in India, where the number of deaths due to the strain popularly known as swine flu has surpassed 400 since the beginning of the year, officials said.
The woman was admitted to hospital in Jodhpur, in the north-western state of Rajasthan, where she died.
“She was on a holiday here and had taken ill on Tuesday evening. It is a confirmed case of swine flu,” Dipal Varma, a doctor who was treating her said.
The tour guide accompanying her refused to give details on how many days she spent in Rajasthan, broadcaster NDTV reported. But the death of a foreign tourist sent alarm bells ringing in the state, a popular tourist destination.
“Tourists who are visiting us … there is an epidemic … if anyone finds themselves with the slightest sniffles they should get themselves checked,” Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje told the broadcaster.
The number of swine flue deaths across India this year was 104 on January 28. That number jumped to 407 on February 10, according to the Federal Health Ministry, whose top officials held a meeting on Wednesday.
More than 5,100 cases of H1N1 influenza have been reported.
Most deaths were reported from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Telangana states, while the infections were reported from three more states, including the national capital Delhi.
More than 4,000 people have died of swine flu across India since May 2009, most of them during outbreaks in 2009 and 2010, according to the ministry.