H1N1 Virus Brewing in our Backyard

The H1N1 virus is back this monsoon, with the virus that has originated locally, contrasting to the last occasion, when travelers from North America and south-east Asia brought this menace in this country.

Tomonash Bhattacharya, a tropical medicine specialist shared that the epidemiological history of the patients should be studied, as the virus might have stayed inactive in Kolkata and has mutated over the last 14 months. By studying the history of the patients, it can be traced whether they come into contact with people travelling from abroad or other states. He added that the virus had been developing here and is not brought by any travelers this time.

“Influenza viruses like H1N1 have a tendency to mutate and linger. They return in waves and with varying degrees of intensity", said Tomonash Bhattacharya, a tropical medicine specialist.

Bhattacharya added that it is not the right time to predict whether there will be a severe outbreak this year, adding that all kind of influenza virus are let loose by the variations in weather. Experts opine that the rising temperature along with irregular showers may help in the spread of the virus. Inconsistent rainfall can stimulate the spread of the virus.

State health department’s nodal officer for swine flu, Asit Biswas shared that West Bengal Water Resources Minister Nandagopal Bhattacharya is also afflicted with the virus.