Scientists call for extensive research on H1N1 ailment

Scientists call for extensive research on H1N1 ailment
Highlights

With an increase in the number of swine flu deaths reported from all over the country, senior scientists and vaccine manufacturers in the city have advocated that the State and Centre should immediately carry out extensive research on the H1N1 virus.

With an increase in the number of swine flu deaths reported from all over the country, senior scientists and vaccine manufacturers in the city have advocated that the State and Centre should immediately carry out extensive research on the H1N1 virus.

So far, over 800 people across the country have been killed due to swine flu and the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh alone have contributed about 100 deaths in just about 2-3 months. Senior scientists Dr Rafi Ahmed, director, Emory Vaccine Center and Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, advocated that research needed to be carried out to verify whether the existing strain of the flu virus was evolving and adopting to the available drugs.

“There is a strong need for the Indian scientists to study the strains of the prevailing virus and understand them. The increasing cases of influenza require not only testing for H1N1 but also H3N2 a sub type of the influenza,” said Dr Rafi Ahmed.

Dr Rafi opined that Indian researchers, especially in government institutions, should take immediate initiatives without any delay to ascertain whether the present swine flu virus has any mutations.

He said that the rising mortality rate of young people in the age group of 21-40 is a cause of concern and policy makers should take it seriously before things go out of control.

According to Dr Rafi, the main cause of flu deaths is because of weakening of the immune system of the young adults. The immune system firstly fights with the primary virus and then the secondary bacterial infection caused by the virus. Due to this, the body has too much inflammation which leads to lung failure and multi-organ failure causing death.

Moreover, the effectiveness of the vaccines available is also reduced to changing strains of the virus. Swine flu virus gets activated more with the dropping of temperatures and gradually dies off with increasing temperatures. “Changing strains of the flu virus reduces the effectiveness of vaccine by 30 to 40 per cent. In addition to vaccination, people should also take preventive steps which are important to contain the further spread of this virus. Widespread awareness must be created to inculcate basic behavioural change among the population, advised Dr. Rafi.

Giving his views on making universal vaccine, Krishna Ella said that Indian researchers should take up long term research and seriously explore the possibility of developing universal vaccine for influenza mutations.


“It would take another decade for researchers worldwide to come up with such a vaccine. I feel Indian researchers too should contribute towards developing such a vaccine.” he added.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
Subscribed Failed...
Subscribed Successfully...
More Stories


Top