All the cases are indigenous, none having been imported from foreign countries. In comparison, in the week June 8-14, the country recorded 168 positive H1N1 cases with 14 deaths.
What's worse, the virus is springing up in parts of the country which weren't affected very badly last year.
The country's preparedness to deal with a fresh wave of swine flu pandemic, that could be worse than before, was reviewed at a meeting presided over by the cabinet secretary on Monday. The meeting, which was attended by Union health ministry's top brass including health secretary K Sujatha Rao and ICMR director-general Dr V M Katoch, came to the conclusion that the virus had got entrenched in India and would soon replace the seasonal influenza strain to become the dominant virus causing fever, cough and cold.
If not treated early with Tamiflu -- the only known drug to combat H1N1 -- people are more prone to dying of it than the seasonal bug.
Dr Katoch told TOI that the perfect example to show how the virus was cropping up severely in areas left unscathed last season is Kerala.. Between June 8 and 14, Kerala alone reported 141 of 168 positive lab confirmed H1N1 cases and 10 out of the 14 deaths. Then, between June 21 and 27, Kerala recorded 266 of total 345 cases and seven of the 17 deaths.
"Last year, Kerala was not that badly affected. That's why people aren't immune to this new virus. It will keep spreading to new areas," Dr Katoch said.
He added, "There is no cause for panic and airport checking will not start again. However, people should be aware of H1N1 swine flu and before severe symptoms start to show, they must visit the nearest hospital to be treated with Tamiflu. Also, there is no need for testing every suspected H1N1 sample."