A health department senior officer said that the sudden spurt in swine flu cases was being attributed to a new H1N1 strain.
Mumbai: A new strain called the Michigan strain has been isolated from samples of swine flu cases in Maharashtra. This strain had earlier appeared in Pune in 2009.
A health department senior officer said that the sudden spurt in swine flu cases was being attributed to a new H1N1 strain. The Michigan strain was isolated by researchers at Pune’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) run by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as part of the ongoing H1N1 surveillance.
It has emerged that the Michigan strain has been circulating since Septem-ber 2016 and may be the cause of the sudden rise in swine flu related deaths. The health officer said, “Since 2009, the California strain has been doing the rounds. But now, a Michigan strain has been isolated in the state. That is why we are seeing more people falling prey to swine flu.” Sources said that treatment was available for tackling the new strain of virus.
With the state reporting the highest H1N1 toll with over 2,000 cases and 268 fatalities, a majority of people who have succumbed to the disease fall in the age group of 20 to 45 years, puzzling the doctors.
Dr Mukund Diggikar, joint director of diseases at the state health department, told The Asian Age, “The Michigan strain is not new, but a little bit of mutation has been noted in most of the samples taken from the state. The vaccine which is effective against it, is on the way and within a few days, we will get stocks of vials.”