After lengthy discussions with a team from Center for Disease Control of Atlanta Health Minister D. Nagender here on Friday announced that swine flu vaccine was available in the US and it might arrive in India in a month or two.
L.V. Subrahmanyam, secretary, Health who is monitoring the disease in the State, later explained that the Federal Drug Authority of the US Government had cleared the vaccine only a few days ago.
He, however, ruled out the possibility of its use in India for the time being as the trials of the vaccine would have to be carried out in the country.
US Consul General in Hyderabad Cornelis Keur led the team. The Center for Disease Control is a premier health agency in America guiding the WHO on control of vector-borne and communicable diseases, and is presently working in liaison with AIDS Control Society of Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Cornelius Keur, who was accompanied by Dr. Richard Keenlyside of CDC Atlanta and others, offered cooperation to the government to build up data on swine flu and other communicable diseases and provide the fruits of analysis made based on that data.
Following a request made by him, the Minister offered to provide suitable accommodation to CDC Atlanta at Andhra Pradesh Vaidya Vidhana Parishad office complex at Kothi in Hyderabad.
Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Nagender claimed that swine flu was on downward trend as a result of dry conditions prevailing in the State for three days now.
The government, after examining all aspects, had permitted sale of Tamiflu tablets at some identified medical shops, he said, warning that the licence of the shop would be cancelled and criminal case booked if substandard Tamiflu tablets were sought to be sold out, taking advantage of the permission.
Mr. Nagender said a medical team was rushed to Karimanagr district where dengue fever had broken out in a virulent form.
The district was so badly affected that there were as many as 42 dengue patients from this area alone in Yashoda Hospital. Special teams were also being sent to educate public about the preventive steps.
Meanwhile, city-based NATCO Pharma has launched NATFLU (Tamiflu) capsules to cure swine flu, a release from NATCO Pharma informed on Friday. The medicine, whose maximum retail price is fixed at Rs. 489 for a bottle of ten capsules, is available in all licensed pharmacies, release added.