HEALTH EXEC SAYS H1N1 can mutate into ‘milder’ strain
Posted June 29, 2009on:
HEALTH EXEC SAYS
H1N1 can mutate into ‘milder’ strain
First Posted 17:53:00 06/29/2009
Filed Under: Health, Diseases, Swine Flu
MANILA, Philippines – The Influenza A(H1N1) virus can mutate, but not anytime soon and not necessarily into a more virulent strain, a health official said Monday.
Viruses need between six months to a year before it can mutate, and even if it mutates, it does not necessarily become deadlier, said Doctor Yolanda Oliveros, director of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
“Based on worldwide data, a virus needs at least 6 months to a year before it can mutate. And this mutation not exactly means that the virus will be more virulent in form, it can also be milder,” she said.
While vaccination for the seasonal flu will not provide protection against A(H1N1), it will prevent A(H1N1) from mutating when it strikes an individual with the seasonal flu, she said.
As of Friday last week, the Department of Health recorded a total of 861 A(H1N1) cases, of which, 734 or 74 percent have recovered.
Starting this week, the DoH will give updates on the country’s A(H1N1) cases only on Wednesdays, instead of everyday, said Doctor Lyndon Lee Suy of the DoH’s Institute for Emerging Infectious Diseases.