May 7, 2009

First Swine Flu Genetic Sequencing Complete

Officials said Wednesday that the first genetic sequencing of the H1N1 swine flu virus has been completed by Canadian scientists, which will be vital to understanding the outbreak and developing a vaccine.

"It gives me great pleasure to be able to announce today that our knowledge of the H1N1 flu virus has taken a great step forward," Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq told a press conference.

She said that the scientists at the Public Health of Canada's microbiology lab in Winnipeg cracked the genetic makeup of samples from Mexico and two Canadian provinces.

Aglukkaq added that preliminary analysis showed the trio of samples "do not differ significantly at the genetic level."

"This is the first complete sequencing of the H1N1 flu virus and it's vitally important to our understanding of this outbreak," she said.