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Mutation in flu virus in India but no impact on severity

health-and-fitness Updated: Dec 08, 2009 21:43 IST

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India has witnessed some mutation in the swine flu virus circulating in the country but this will not have any impact on the severity of the disease.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as in certain cases abroad, the virus in India has

also mutated, but this has had no bearing on the spread or severity of the disease.

"Swine flu cases in the country have shown some resurgence in the recent days because of approaching winters,

but this is common in the case of all respiratory diseases," ICMR Director General V M Katoch told PTI on Tuesday.

"The mutation of the virus has had no effect on the epidemiological progress of the disease," he added.

The World Health Organisation said on Friday it is investigating samples of variant swine flu linked to two

deaths and one severe case in Norway, but that so far the significance of the mutation is unclear.

The first mutation of the virus was reported from Norway last month. The mutation was found in three of 70

analysed swine flu cases.

The same mutation has been found in both fatal and mild cases elsewhere, including in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico,

Ukraine, and the United States, WHO had reported.

In addition, "worldwide, viruses from numerous fatal cases have not shown the mutation," the global body said. "The

public health significance of this finding is thus unclear."

India has reported 627 deaths due to swine flu so far.