Researchers sequence code for swine flu
8 May 2009 00:00 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
Achieving a European prototype of a vaccine for swine influenza has become more likely after researchers sequenced the entire genetic code of the virus.
According to the Department of Health, this development is "critical" because vital parts of the virus can be used to manufacturer a vaccine.
Health secretary Alan Johnson made the announcement after visiting the Health Protection Agency's (HPA) National Institute of Biological Standards and Control.
This is the only centre in the country working on the development of vaccine prototypes for European manufacturers.
"A significant step towards protecting the world's health against swine flu has been taken," said Mr Johnson.
"We now look to the vaccine industry to produce the required quantities of vaccine as quickly as possible."
Researchers at the HPA are also collaborating with other organisations to study the virus and obtain more understanding of how it infects people and how quickly it can mutate.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is still advising against unessential travel to Mexico, where swine flu is believed to have originated.
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency