Can we rely on natural herd immunity to end COVID-19 pandemic?

All previous influenza pandemics — 1918 Spanish flu, 1957 Asian flu, 1968 Hong Kong influenza, and 2009 H1N1 — came to an end when herd immunity acquired naturally reached a certain threshold. So can India and other countries rely on this to tackle COVID-19 till effective vaccines and anti-virals become available? With the number of … Continue reading Can we rely on natural herd immunity to end COVID-19 pandemic?

Jaggi Vasudev gives booster dose for anti-vaxxer movement

The highly dangerous and sweeping statement on vaccine side-effects will give anti-vaxxers the much needed impetus and ammunition to scare parents from vaccinating their children. After all, stirring fear in the minds of people by falsely blaming vaccines for unrelated diseases is the bedrock of the anti-vaccination movement. In January 2019, the World Health Organization … Continue reading Jaggi Vasudev gives booster dose for anti-vaxxer movement

Nearly 6,200 H1N1 cases reported in India in three weeks

In three weeks (February 24 to March 17) this year, the number of H1N1 cases reported from across India has increased by nearly 6,200. At 20,977, the number of cases reported till March 17 is far more than what was reported in the whole of 2018 (14,992) and nearly half the number of cases reported … Continue reading Nearly 6,200 H1N1 cases reported in India in three weeks

Alarming spread of H1N1 in 2019

As on February 24 this year, the number of H1N1 cases and deaths in India have been 14,803 and 448, respectively. The highest numbers are from Rajasthan (3,964), Delhi (2,738) and Gujarat (2,726). The number of cases reported till February 24 is nearly the same as that recorded in the whole of 2018 (14,992). And … Continue reading Alarming spread of H1N1 in 2019

In a first, WHO recommends quadrivalent influenza vaccine

Sanofi has launched in India its quadrivalent influenza vaccine (FluQuadri) containing two A virus strains — H1N1 and H3N2 — and two B virus strians — Victoria and Yamagata — for active immunization of adults over 18 years. In February this year, the WHO for the first time recommended the use of quadrivalent influenza vaccine containing two A … Continue reading In a first, WHO recommends quadrivalent influenza vaccine

Lessons India has not learnt on H1N1

The high H1N1 flu toll points to a failure of the government to put necessary systems and precautions in place. The number of influenza A (H1N1) virus cases and deaths reported from across India this year has already crossed 22,000 and 1,000, respectively. These are lower than the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, NCDC 2015 figures … Continue reading Lessons India has not learnt on H1N1

H1N1 is back with a vengence

So far this year, 12,500 people have been infected with the influenza A (H1N1) virus in India, of which 600 have died. According to official data, Maharashtra alone has registered 284 deaths, which by itself is much more than the total mortality figure of 265 in the country as a result of H1N1 in 2016. … Continue reading H1N1 is back with a vengence

Why do we see H1N1 cases every year?

The spread of influenza virus declines when the temperature shoots up. But this year, despite the summer temperature crossing 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country, the number of H1N1 cases and occasional deaths have not stopped. Since its first appearance in 2009-2010, influenza A H1N1 has come to stay and has become … Continue reading Why do we see H1N1 cases every year?

Editorial: India flounders as H1N1 spreads

  The influenza A(H1N1) virus continues to kill people in India, although its spread is not at a galloping pace. As on March 21, the number of people affected was over 32,200, and the death toll in excess of 1,900. The worst-affected States are Gujarat and Rajasthan. In Gujarat, the number of cases has crossed … Continue reading Editorial: India flounders as H1N1 spreads

Mutations make H1N1 virulent, spread easily

The 2014 Indian H1N1 strain has undergone “important haemagglutinin (HA) mutations” that make it more easily transmissible and virulent in humans, notes a study published on March 11 in the journal Cell Host and Microbe. The result contradicts the claim made by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) that the H1N1 Influenza A strain … Continue reading Mutations make H1N1 virulent, spread easily