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'No mutation of swine flu virus'

New Delhi, April 11 - The health ministry Wednesday denied reports of swine flu virus H1N1 having mutated and said the situation was under control.

Refuting reports that a new strain of the H1N1 swine flu virus has been found, the health ministry in a statement here said said the virus was "well under control".

"The situation with respect to instances of H1N1 is well under control and is being monitored. As reported in some section of the press, the virus has not mutated to a more virulent form or changed its character," Pune's National Institute of Virology said in a statement.

Some sections of media had recently reported a mutated swine flu virus being spread, which could not be controlled with the vaccine and medicines available in India at present.

He said that the vaccines and medicine currently available in India for the virus is effective.

The statement said the presently circulating strains of the virus are "clade 6 and 7 of the original H1N1 virus". Clade is the medical terminology used to describe related organisms descended from a common ancestor.

"The currently available vaccine can be used (for the virus circulating at present)... differences are not significant. There is no mutation to suggest change of virus to 'dangerous form'," he said, adding that swine flu is treatable with Oseltamivir (an antiviral drug which slows the spread of influenza virus).

Vaccines create antigens in the body, which is a substance that when introduced into the body stimulates the production of an antibody. Antigens include toxins, bacteria, foreign blood cells, and the cells of transplanted organs.



-IANS


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