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Travel hazard Swine flu claims Swiss tourist in India

The rise in swine flu cases has put a lot of pressure on local hospitals in India

(Keystone)

A 70-year-old Swiss woman died in a hospital in the Indian city of Jodhpur on Thursday after contracting the H1N1 virus. The virus has claimed over 200 lives in the country this month alone.

The Swiss tourist, who was part of a group of travellers,  began feeling ill on Wednesday in Jaisalmer, another city popular with tourists in the state of Rajasthan.  She was brought to Jodhpur and placed on life support.

“She died in the hospital. She tested positive for the H1N1 virus,” hospital head Y.S Rathore said.

The Swiss woman, who was not identified, also suffered from a lung tumour. Her autopsy is scheduled for Thursday evening, said Ashok Rathore, police commissioner of Jodhpur.

Swine flu has claimed 118 lives in the state of Rajasthan alone. The state government has not allowed doctors to go on holiday because of the crisis. In the neighbouring state of Gujarat, panicked citizens were queuing outside hospitals to be examined for swine flu.

According to Indian health ministry statistics, 407 people have died from swine flu this year among the more than 5000 cases of the disease reported.

The government is currently reviewing its procedures to prevent further spread of the disease, especially to vaccinate all medical personnel in contact with patients. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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