Staff Reporter

Bangalore: The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) warning that the Influenza A(H1N1) virus might see a possible upsurge during the upcoming winter season in the South East Asian region, including India, is worrying pubic health experts.

“The H1N1 virus, which had resulted in the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918, keeps changing. This virus, which was in a more virulent form in 1918, was not very severe in the recent outbreak. So we expect the upcoming winter upsurge might be more virulent. Although a vaccine will be ready by then, the worry is that mutation of the virus and the availability of the vaccine will run parallel. Some people might develop drug resistance causing more problems. But we hope that the virus might become milder,” Dr. Narendra Saini, India’s representative in the Global Hygiene Council, told presspersons on Thursday.

Six deaths

Six persons, including a 11-month-old baby, died of A(H1N1) in the State in the last two days. With this, the number of flu deaths in Karnataka has touched 53.

The latest victims include four from Bangalore (two died in the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and two in private hospitals), one from Davangere (a 11-month-old baby) and one from Bijapur.

The four deaths in RGICD include one of a pregnant woman aged 32, who died three days ago. RGICD Director Shashidhar Buggi said her reports arrived on Thursday.

RGICD director Shashidhar Buggi said the rise in the number of deaths was because of the delay in administering tamiflu.