British scientists crack swine flu code as world tally rises to 2,384

May 9th, 2009 - 3:30 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 9 (ANI): British scientists announced they had worked out the full genetic code for the virus, even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) increased its global tally of confirmed swine flu cases to over 2,300.

Five new cases were diagnosed in the UK on Friday. There are now 39 confirmed cases in the UK.

Mexico remains the worst affected country, with more than 1,100 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H1N1 virus influenza, including 42 deaths. The United States has reported nearly 900 laboratory-confirmed human cases, including two deaths. Another 22 countries have confirmed cases but no deaths, reports The Telegraph.

The latest figures came as British Health Secretary Alan Johnson said the Health Protection Agency, which monitors infectious diseases, had fully mapped the genetic code of the virus.

He said this would help scientists to understand how the virus operates and to identify the parts that can be used to manufacture a vaccine.

Johnson said: “A significant step towards protecting the world’s health against swine flu has been taken. We now look to the vaccine industry to produce the required quantities of vaccine as quickly as possible.”

The entire genetic fingerprint and sequence of the swine flu virus will now be analysed to learn how the virus behaves as it infects individuals. (ANI)

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