(Reuters) – The H1N1 swine flu virus may be starting to mutate, and a slightly new form has begun to predominate in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, researchers reported on Thursday.
More study is needed to tell whether the new strain is more likely to kill patients and whether the current vaccine can protect against it completely, said Ian Barr of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, Australia and colleagues.
I sure wish they would cut this sort of thing out!
- September 17, 2009, 11:31
More Deadly Swine Flu? CDC Mixes H1N1, H5N1 Viruses in Tests
Public-health officials are breathing a small sigh of relief that the H1N1 swine flu virus hasn’t mutated to become more deadly since emerging last spring. But what are the chances it will?
To find out, scientists at the CDC recently launched experiments in the agency’s labs in which they infected ferrets with both the new H1N1 virus and the highly lethal H5N1 avian flu virus to see if they might “reassort” to create a new hybrid.
The scientists want to know whether a combination of the H1N1 virus -– highly transmissible, but not terribly deadly -– and the H5N1 flu virus could create an easily transmissible, deadly scourge.