Interesting Facts about Swine Flu (H1N1)

Influenza Season and the Swine Flu H1N1:
While the typical influenza season is usually during the cold and dry months of Winter and early Spring months (Science Daily article on typical human flu); the current H1N1 flu (Swine or Pig Flu) has spread very rapidly during the months of April and May which are in fact warm in Mexico, current temperatures in Mexico City are in the 70-80's °F during this time of the year. A study by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City found that normal flu thrives in winter months because of the low humidity and low temperature.

The jury is still out on whether this influenza virus will thrive in the hot months only or if its effect will increment during the cold months of winter/early spring. This is a reason why the development of a vaccine is necessary: so that we can be prepared for it when we are the most vulnerable. It is still unclear if the colder weather will make the spread of this virus more aggressive.

Genetic Makeup of H1N1 Swine Influenza Virus:
The current H1N1 Influenza Virus has a genetic makeup that includes genes from three different virus that affect pigs, birds, and humans. It is now apparent that the predecessor to the current H1N1 pork flu had already been around in pigs for 10 years and just recently acquired the additional genes that have allowed it to become virulent in humans.

The H1N1 chimeric virus is mostly of swine origin, with 6 segments from pig virus, 1 from bird, and the last from human.

The pig flu virus can jump back and forth from Humans and Poricine species.
The H1N1 virus is first thought to have jumped from pigs to humans in Mexico, and it has been confirmed that once it made it to Canada, it infected pigs jumping from a human host. Humans that work in proximity with pigs are rarely infected with porcine-viruses, it is even more rare that a human infected with porcine virus infects another human (happens every 5 decades or so), but what was never documented is the virus of pig oringin jumping back to pigs.

Ten facts about swine flu

Swine flu is an acute respiratory disease which affects pigs. In pigs, according to the World Health Organisation, "morbidity tends to be high and mortality low" - which means that it spreads quickly but kills between 1 and 4 per cent of its victims.

Pigs are the perfect mixing vessels for what is known as reassortment of flu strains, when genetic material from swine flu, human flu and avian flu is jumbled up to create entirely new influenza strains to which humans have little or no immunity.

The currrent H1N1 virus contains genetic elements from North American swine flu, North American avian (bird) flu, and human and swine flu strains normally found in Asia and Europe. According to the Centres for Disease Control it is "an unusually mongrelised mix of genetic sequences".

This new strain of swine flu is not infecting pigs - and has never been seen in pigs.

Seasonal flu viruses (which mutate every year) kill between 250,000 and 500,000 people a year.

The symptoms produced by the current strain of swine flu resemble those of seasonal flu - fever, coughing, muscle aches and extreme tiredness - but it also appears to cause diarrhoea.

The currrent H1N1 virus contains genetic elements from North American swine flu, North American avian (bird) flu, and human and swine flu strains normally found in Asia and Europe. According to the Centres for Disease Control it is "an unusually mongrelised mix of genetic sequences".

The most lethal flu pandemic of the past century was also caused by a swine flu strain. One billion people are thought to have contracted "Spanish flu" in 1918-19, of whom around 50 million were killed - although the death toll could have been much higher.

In 1976, an Army recruit at Ford Dix, New Jersey, complained that he was feeling tired and weak. He died the following day. After Swine flu was diagnosed panicked officials persuaded Gerald Ford that the entire population needed vaccination. About 40 million people were vaccinated before another fear took hold - that the vaccine was more dangerous than the disease - and the programme was aborted.

The WHO's pandemic alert level has been raised a notch to level 4. Level 5 is considered a pandemic - with "sustained community-level transmission" in at least two countries - and level 6 a full-scale global pandemic affecting more than one region in the world.

Symptoms of H1N1 (Swine Flu)

This Video Cures Swine Flu



Ailurophile said...

Very informative post. Thanks for sharing so much info about Swine Flu. It's scary!

Great blog. Very educative :)

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