The swine flu virus of year 2009 is a new strain of virus, and hence currently there is no proven Swine Flu vaccine, and that is one of the main reasons why dozens of people have already died from it, and WHO has raised the threat of this disease to level 5, which is the second highest in the pandemic threat scale of 6.
The 2009 swine flu outbreak began in April 2009 with a new strain of influenza virus. The new strain is commonly called swine flu, but some parties object to the name and it has also been referred to as Mexican flu, swine-origin influenza, North American influenza,and 2009 H1N1 flu.
The outbreak is believed to have started in March 2009, in a Mexican town called La Gloria, which is located on the border of a pig farming center where over a million pigs are raised every year.
And it is believed that the virus has somehow used the pigs as a carrier and mutated into a human-communicable disease in one of the people in contact their contact.
Local outbreaks of an influenza-like illness were first detected in three areas of Mexico, but the virus responsible was not clinically identified as a new strain until April 24, 2009.
Following the identification, its presence was soon confirmed in various Mexican states and in Mexico City. Within days, isolated cases (and suspected cases) were identified elsewhere in Mexico, the U.S., and several other Northern Hemisphere countries.
By April 28, the new strain was confirmed to have spread to Spain, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Israel, and the virus was suspected in many other nations, with a total of over 3,000 candidate cases, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to change its pandemic alert phase to “Phase 5”, which denotes “widespread human infection”.
Despite the scale of the alert, the WHO stated on April 29 that a majority of people infected with the virus have made a full recovery without need of medical attention or antiviral drugs.
The new virus strain seems to be a mutation of four strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1. Analysis at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the four component strains as one endemic in humans, one endemic in birds, and two endemic in pigs (swine).
On April 25, 2009, the WHO formally determined the situation to be a “public health emergency of international concern”, with knowledge lacking in regard to “the clinical features, epidemiology, and virology of reported cases and the appropriate responses”.Government health agencies around the world expressed concerns over the outbreak and are monitoring the situation closely.
Bird & Swine Flu Information
The infection known as “Bird Flu” or “Swine Flu” is caused by the “avian influenza virus” (avian – bird, influenza – flu). Although these types of flu viruses are naturally transmitted from one bird to another, (wild birds from around the world are thought to carry the virus in their body) they do not normally render their hosts ill.
Unfortunately, the Bird Flu is extremely contagious among birds; therefore this infection can easily be transmitted to domestic birds like chickens, ducks, and turkeys – eventually leading to their death.
One swine strain was widespread in the United States, the other in Eurasia. The common human H1N1 influenza virus affects millions of people every year.
According to the WHO, “In annual influenza epidemics 5-15% of the population are affected with upper respiratory tract infections, which results in between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths every year around the world. ”
In industrialized countries most of these deaths occur in those 65 or older – ie people with weaker immune systems. The United Nations WHO and the U.S. CDC have expressed serious concern about the situation, as it has the potential to become a flu pandemic due to the novelty of the influenza strain, its transmission from human to human, and the unusually high mortality rate in Mexico.
Common cold/Flu, Avian Flu, or Swine Flu?
Although the deadly Bird & Swine Flu continues to spread worldwide with the help of migratory birds, most people will not recognise the difference between a common cold and the Avian Flu.
Following is a list of the symptoms of the common cold against that of Bird & Swine Flu in order to help you and your family take better care of yourselves.
Remember: paying attention to details and learning this difference could actually save your life and those of your immediate family.
|Common Cold/Flu||Symptoms||Avian Flu, Swine Flu|
|Rare||FEVER/CHILLS||Between 38 and 40 Degrees Celsius|
|Rare||HEADACHE||Prominent and severe|
|Sometimes||EXHAUSTION||Prominent; lasts up to 3 weeks|
|Prominent; mild discomfort||COUGH||Common; mild to severe discomfort|
Please Note: As the Avian Flu and Swine Flu virus spreads throughout the world, even a normal lifestyle can put you at risk. Even the most innocent handshake or close indoor seating arrangements have made churches, mosques and synagogues dangerous places to be.
Spending time in a place where lots of people crowd together increases the risk of being infected. Metro trains and public transport are the most likely carriers of the virus within a city. So please avoid public places to the extent possible.
Also check out this post: Swine Flu Vaccine- Tamiflu