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Swine flu has mutated, vaccine is not sufficient: Guj health minister

This year's season of Swine Flu has already had three casualties in Gujarat. More importantly, the H1N1 virus, which was so far thought of to be a winter malaise, has

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قديم 04-13-2012, 11:18 PM
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افتراضي Swine flu has mutated, vaccine is not sufficient: Guj health minister

This year's season of Swine flu has already had three casualties in Gujarat. More importantly, the H1N1 virus, which was so far thought of to be a winter malaise, has claimed its victims in the summer.

"It seems that the H1N1 virus has mutated as it has become resistant to hot temperatures. Even the HINI vaccine is not sufficient any more. The job of a vaccine is to raise resistance levels of human beings to fight against virus," said state health minister, Jaynarayan Vyas while addressing the Gujarat Pharma Conclave, a pre-Vibrant Gujarat 2013 Summit event.

Last year, Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical company, Zydus Cadila made and launched vaccines for Swine Flu. In 2011, the group discovered, got approval and launched the vaccine within nine months. While in this year, the vaccine looks insufficient as the virus has mutated. "At present, Tami flu is the only medicine which can cure HINI. In Gujarat there are many Tami flu manufacturers and we have sufficient stock to cure even if the entire state suffers from the flu," Vyas asserted.

However, there is no need to press the panic button as yet, the minister said. "In the time to come the situation may worsen as the virus has already started its mutational process. It is an impact of globalization which is getting India into such epidemics and pandemics," said Vyas. The chairman and managing director of Zydus Cadila, Pankaj Patel was also present in the conclave. When asked about the situation, Patel claimed that company is undertaking further research work on vaccines.

Patel, however, claimed that he doesn't believe the virus has mutated and added that according to WHO norms, there are no changes in virus. "As per WHO norms, we have not found any change in the H1N1 virus. Hence, the vaccine has remained the same. We don't know how this (mutation) has happened. We cannot exactly comment on what has happened (on the virus and how it killed three people in Gujarat in the summer)," he said, adding, "We have been continuously researching on it."

With the theme of 'Leveraging Growth thru' Knowledge Networks' the pharma conclave, was jointly organised by the Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat government in partnership with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Gujarat State Council, in city on Thursday. In the conclave, Dr Gyanendra Nath Singh, drug controller general of India (DGCI) said that DGCI is not only a regulator, but also a facilitator. "Without compromising on the quality we want also want to become facilitator for the industry," said Singh.

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