New Delhi: Swine flu has spread across the country and has claimed thousands of lives already.

While Rajasthan tops the list, Gujarat is on the second spot with 118 deaths till March 10.

The recent Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) put the number of cases at 3,969, with Gujarat recording an average of 57 cases daily or 2 cases per hour.

“The disease, spread by the H1N1 virus, is typically seen in monsoon and winter seasons when the lower temperature provides a conducive environment for growth of the virus. New cases are expected to drop in numbers as temperature rises in summer. However, this year even in mid-March, the temperature is below normal and thus the cases are still continuing,” a daily quoted a said epidemiologist as saying.

“The numbers might take a plunge by the end of the month,” he said, adding that a majority of the cases are reported late, increasing the mortality.

However, Gujarat has better survival rates compared to states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh where there are fewer deaths from swine flu cases, said experts.

Till March 10, the H1N1 virus had claimed 113 lives in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, said reports on Wednesday.

In Madhya Pradesh, the number of reported cases was 434 while the number of deaths was 90. In Chhattisgarh, the number of deaths was 23 while the number of cases reported was 109.