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H1N1 deaths toll to 389
Published on 11 Oct. 2009 10:29 PM IST
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: Four swine flu deaths, two in Maharashtra and two in Karnataka, were reported Sunday, taking India’s death toll due to the pandemic to 389, the health ministry said Sunday. With laboratory confirmation of the two deaths in Maharashtra, the western state has reported 160 deaths so far, the highest in the country. The two deaths in Karnataka took the state’s toll to 110. As many as 96 fresh cases were reported during the day, taking the total number of those infected with the flu to 11,874. Two of these cases have a foreign travel history, and the rest are indigenous cases. India reported its first swine flu case early May from Hyderabad. Among the fresh cases, Maharashtra accounted for the highest number (44), followed by Delhi (24) and Kerala (9). Maharashtra also tops the infection list with a total of 3,321 cases of those infected so far, followed by 3,046 in Delhi and 1,373 in Tamil Nadu. The health ministry said that “till date, samples of 50,049 persons have been tested for influenza A (H1N1) in government laboratories and 23.7 percent of them have been found positive”. Animal trials for H1N1 vaccine begin in India India’s hope for a H1N1 vaccine has got a shot in the arm with Serum Institute beginning animal trials for the vaccine, a prelude to the much tougher human trials. “Animal trials for the H1N1 vaccine have started,” Rajeev M Dhere, Senior Director, Serum Institute of India, said. Around 500 doses of the H1N1 vaccine will be administered to animals and the report on toxicity and immunogenicity will be submitted to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for permission to undertake Phase I human clinical trials. “We hope to finish the animal trials by November end or December first week and begin human trials thereafter with permission from the DGCI,” Dhere said. All clinical trials for the vaccine are expected to end by February, he said. “If the human trials are successful, by March the vaccine should be made available. We have the technology to produce the vaccine that can be pressed into service immediately for commercial production depending upon the scale of requirement after regulatory clearances,” he said. “Going by our animal data, so far, the results are satisfactory,” Dhere said.

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