Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Hamas denies capturing Israeli soldier as Gaza truce lies in tatters

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Police 'chokehold' caused NYC death, coroner rules

    Read more

  • French most keen to erase their online footprint, says Google

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

Health

WHO says mutation found in virus strain

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-21

The World Health Organisation said on Friday that a mutation has been found in samples of Influenza H1N1 taken after the first two deaths from the virus in Norway.

AFP - The World Health Organisation said Friday that a mutation had been found in samples of the swine flu virus taken following the first two deaths from the pandemic in Norway.
   
"The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has informed WHO of a mutation detected in three H1N1 viruses," the WHO said in a briefing note.
   
"The viruses were isolated from the first two fatal cases of pandemic influenza in the country and one patient with severe illness," it said, although it added that no further instances were found in tests.
   
"Norwegian scientists have analysed samples from more than 70 patients with clinical illness and no further instances of this mutation have been detected. This finding suggests that the mutation is not widespread in the country," the UN health agency said.
   
However, it also revealed that a similar mutation had been observed in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Ukraine, and the United States, as early as April.
   
"The mutations appear to occur sporadically and spontaneously. To date, no links between the small number of patients infected with the mutated virus have been found and the mutation does not appear to spread," the statement
   
The WHO also underlined that there was no evidence of more infections or more deaths as a result, while the mutated virus remained sensitive to  antiviral drugs used to treat severe flu, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).
   
"Studies show that currently available pandemic vaccines confer protection," it added, as mass vaccine campaigns were slowly gaining ground in the northern hemisphere amid signs of public skepticism in several European nations.
   
Scientists fear that mutations in flu viruses could cause more virulent and deadly pandemic flu. The global health watchdog reiterated a call for close monitoring.
   
The WHO was still assessing the significance of the latest observation, but it underlined that many such changes in the virus do not alter the illness it causes in patients.
   
"Although further investigation is under way, no evidence currently suggests that these mutations are leading to an unusual increase in the number of H1N1 infections or a greater number of severe or fatal cases," it added.

 

Date created : 2009-11-20

COMMENT(S)