Swine Flu: Updates, Symptoms, Medication, Vaccine

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.

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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
Rare MUSCLE ACHES Severe
Sometimes EXHAUSTION Prominent; lasts up to 3 weeks
Always STUFFY NOSE Sometimes
Very Common SNEEZING Sometimes
Common SORE THROAT Sometimes
Prominent; mild discomfort COUGH Common; mild to severe discomfort
Never VOMITING Rare

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

2 Responses to Swine Flu: Updates, Symptoms, Medication, Vaccine

  1. Health Advisor

    The US will purchase additional 13 million antiviral treatments to combat swine flu and plans to send 400,000 treatments to Mexico.

    US Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Kathleen Sebelius said: Today HHS began moving 400,000 treatment courses to Mexico to help stop the spread of the virus. The 400,000 courses represent less than one per cent of the total American stockpile

    There are about 50 million courses of antiviral drugs in the US “Strategic National Stockpile” And individual states hold 23 million anti-viral treatment courses.

    **The fundamental assumption is that all this stockpile will help in combating the new virus strains in some way, otherwise its a lot of inventory without any real value.

  2. Thanks for this detailed information and for recommending the reliable source for Tamiflu procurement, which is just not there in the local medical stores!

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