New forms of Swine Flu?

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According to a reported posted on RJR’s website health care professionals in St. Catherine are questioning whether the country has been seeing mutated forms of the virus.

The question was put to the Director of Emergency Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock-Ducasse by the station who responded that there is no evidence to support this theory.

Dr. Bullock-Ducasse explained however that there are different strains of the virus referred to as sub-types.

She says the new subtype is what is now referred to as Influenza A H1N1 and is what is causing the pandemic.

"If you notice we call it the new Influenza A H1N1 because there are other Influenza A H1N1 subtypes which are not the same as what we are seeing now. We have one strain that causes a seasonal influenza but this is a particular new Influenza A H1N1," Dr. Bullock-Ducasse said.

Dr. Bullock-Ducasse added that laboratory tests help to differentiate the subtypes.

"We test for Influenza A in general and we have specific tests that identify the new Influenza A H1N1 as well as to identify seasonal influenza like

Influenza A H3N2," she said.

The country on Monday recorded its first death from the new Influenza A H1N1 virus.