Swine flu virus mutated in Hyderabad

Thu 13 Apr 2017, 09:49:32
Hyderabad: The incidence of swine flu cases in April when temperatures consistently touched 40 degrees Celsius prompted health officials here conclude that the virus might have mutated in the State.

This trend is not just in Telangana, as health officials on Wednesday said even other South Indian States such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala too reported swine flu cases in large numbers between January and April.

A preliminary report prepared by health authorities in Tamil Nadu, which reported 2,626 swine flu cases between January and April, indicated that the virus mutated into a strain that was active in Michigan and is also known as Michigan flu.

swine flu

The Chennai report prompted officials here to approach National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, to identify the exact strain of swine flu which is active in TS. “We will approach NIV to conduct a thorough study of the cases that are getting reported even in April. We have to

isolate and identify the viral strain and find out if there is a mutation,” Dr K Manohar, swine flu co-ordinator and NIMS Director, said.

Between January and April, 1,224 cases were reported in Telangana, health authorities said, making it clear that the present influenza or flu strain in Hyderabad was not fatal. “It’s a seasonal influenza-like infection in the middle of the summer, which is quite rare because virus usually can’t survive this kind of summer heat. Another trend observed by us is that large number of children are testing positive for flu between January and April,” says Dr Subba Lakshmi, Joint Director (Epidemics), Telangana.

On Tuesday, officials tested 77 swab samples from suspected swine flu patients, of which 11 tested positive. “We urge people to continue to take basic precautions. We must also clarify that the death of a five-month-old baby at Gandhi Hospital was not due to swine flu but due to congenital heart ailment,” said Dr Manohar.

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