Published On : Sun, Feb 15th, 2015

Doctors fear change in nature of swine flu virus

Nagpur:  The vaccine used to treat swine flu does not give total immunity from the disease. The vaccine may give some respite from the disease but could not be considered as a complete cure for swine flu, say doctors.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) too has expressed fears that the swine flu virus might have changed its character, making the present vaccine outdated. Presently, the vaccine sold in the market for the treatment of swine flu is by the name of 2009 H1N1, which might not give complete immunity from the disease, it was learnt.

It may be noted here that two types of vaccines are given for the treatment of swine flu by the doctors. More popular among them is the one given in the form of injection whereas the medicine given through nose is not available in the market. Neither the doctors prescribe it.

The swine flu vaccine is available by the name of ‘infusion’ in the market. Several other companies too are selling it by various brand names. Doctors say that the vaccine is available at a price of 500 to 600 in the market. Interestingly, the prices vary from shop to shop and also may vary at different hospitals. Shockingly, this vaccine is sold at a price of 1,000 or even 1,500 in some shops.

Virus changing its nature

When the swine flu was first reported in America, its vaccine was of the type H1N1. In many countries, the virus has changed its nature and character and is now identified as H1N2 or, H3N2. Fears are expressed that in India too the virus might have changed its nature or character.

Interestingly, as the virus changes its nature, the symptoms of the disease too change. Moreover, the virus becomes more aggressive.
Chest physician Dr Ashok Arbat said that it would be too premature to say that the virus has changed its character. However, people are using these vaccines and they are getting relief too, he said. In some cases, the vaccine does not work.