While the seasonal influenza strain, H3N2,  is hitting the United States hard this season, across the globe, India is battling the H1N1 strain, or the “swine flu”.

Public domain photo/Robin klein
Public domain photo/Robin klein

According to a BBC report today, some 77 people have died from the viral disease during the past month and a half.

Indian officials say swine flu has killed 50 people in Telangana and Rajasthan. Fifteen deaths have been reported from Gujarat. The capital, Delhi, has reported five deaths so far, while neighboring Haryana reported seven deaths.

Health officials in the region are attempting to keep the outbreak under control.

“The department has directed health officials to ask all healthcare facilities in their jurisdiction to be alert and ready to tackle the menace, the Times of India reports.

“We have directed civil surgeons of these districts to keep state-run healthcare medical facilities like primary health centres (PHC), rural hospitals, sub-district hospitals and district hospitals ready with required medical paraphernalia to promptly treat infected patients.

“Besides, we have also directed them to keep their hospitals ready and ensure that the intensive care units in their jurisdictions are functional and ready with emergency life support systems like ventilators,” said another state health official.