16 December 2017

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09/21/2009 ASIA

The influenza A virus has not mutated, vaccine should to be ready soon

The World Health Organisation tries to be reassuring, saying the virus has not mutated. It expects three billion doses of vaccine to be available in a few months time. It still calls for high levels of alert.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The A-H1N1 flu virus has not mutated and flu vaccine development is on track.  World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun released encouraging news today at a regional WHO meeting in Hong Kong. She said that lab results indicate that the virus has not mutated since April. She warned, however, that vigilance should not be relaxed because it could mutate at any moment.

Vaccine development “is on track,” she explained. “Worldwide there are about 25 companies making vaccines” and “they are gradually coming out with their production.”

“Some developing countries are also moving in developing their own vaccines and clearly China is one of these examples,” she added.

One of the problems with the new influenza has been the lack of a specific vaccine, something that increases the danger of a pandemic.

Ms Chan said she expected companies around the world to produce some three billion doses of vaccines within the coming year.

WHO expects an outbreak of swine flu in the northern hemisphere this winter, especially in December.

High-risk patients, such as the elderly, pregnant women, overweight people or those with asthma are more vulnerable to the virus. The problem also depends on the high risk of contagion.

In his address to the meeting, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said that the former British Crown colony had recorded so far 22,054 known cases and 15 deaths.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia is the most affected country with 171 deaths.

See also

15/06/2009 ASIA
Swine flu: more cases in Thailand, China and India
Infections quadruple in Thailand. China and India report 196 and 23 cases respectively. Now the virus is spreading beyond tourist destinations with local hotbeds of infection.

14/07/2009 ASIA
Swine flue: Indonesia fears combination of avian and swine flues
A total of 86 cases have been reported in Indonesia. Thailand shuts down 435 schools and 200 kindergartens in Bangkok for disinfection. In Saudi Arabia one school is closed after 20 students test positive. Bahrain tells people to avoid pilgrimage to Makkah.

17/10/2005 ASIA
Asian battleground key to beating bird flu virus
For World Health Organisation, the virus appeared in South-East Asia and it is here that the risk of pandemic is the greatest. International aid is necessary to prevent it.

18/05/2009 JAPAN – ASIA
Swine flu infects 93 in Japan, shuts down schools and kindergartens
According to the World Health Organisation, whose assembly opens today, about 8,500 cases have been reported to date with 72 deaths, including a school vice-principal in New York. First A (H1N1) patient in China recovers. US experts say 100,000 people infected in the United States, but virus is behaving like any ordinary seasonal flu.

05/05/2009 CHINA – MEXICO
Swine flu: Mexico and China rush to repatriate nationals
Tens of Mexicans leave China. A plane chartered by the Chinese government flies 200 Chinese tourists out of Mexico. The alert remains high but fear subsides.

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