Analyzing the Swine Flu

The human swine flu virus is a strand of influenza which combines genetic materials from pigs, birds and human beings in a way researchers have not seen before. It is indeed a novel virus and has spread from human to human, which is uncommon for a swine flu virus. In the United States the swine flu cases are particularly unusual because it is unclear as to how sufferers contracted the virus. According to the CDC, the Americans infected had no prior contact with pigs, which is how the swine flu is typically acquired by people. This virus may be something entirely new to mankind, or it may have existed withoutmankind’s knowledge having only been detected now due to the improved laboratory testing and disease surveillance provided by health departments.

The virus has been described by CDC officials as possessing a unique combination of gene segments not seen in people or pigs before. The bug contains human virus, the avian virus from North America, and pig viruses from North America, Europe, and Asia. Mixes of bird, pig, and human virus have been witnessed by health officials before but never has such an inter-continental combination containing more than one pig virus been confirmed.Scientists keep keen observation on flu viruses that emerge from swine. These particular animals are considered especially susceptible to both avian and human viruses and a common place where the type of genetic reconstruction might take place that can lead to a new form of pandemic flu. (Type your last name here) 2 The swine flu is believed to have scientifically originated in Mexico.

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Mexico, however, only began researching information on the swine flu when people began dying from it. The fact that the deaths in Mexico have been among young, healthy adults also concerns investigators.While respiratory viruses often overwhelm the defenses of elderly people, young children and those with underlying respiratory conditions, it is far less common for healthy young adults to die from the flu (Beck 2). Since its inception in the presumed location of Vera Cruz, Mexico, the swine flu has now spread to eight different countries. There have been reported accounts of deaths and its symptoms are as ordinary as those of the regular flu, primarily involving fever, cough, and sore throat, with some victims also experiencing vomiting and diarrhea.Epidemiologists and scientists are especially concerned with the fact that because this viral contamination is a hybrid, meaning a mingling of various genetic material (pig, person, bird), humans are not equipped with any natural defenses against it, hence the result is a worldwide spread of a killer disease moving from victim to victim quickly and with ease.

The case definitions for infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) virus are as follow: A confirmed case of swine flu A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as a person with an acutefebrile respiratory illness with laboratory confirmed swine flu A (H1N1) virus infection at Center for Disease control (CDC) by one or more of these tests: 1. Real-time RT-PCR 2. Viral culture A probable case of swine flu A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as a person with an acute febrile respiratory illness who is: 1. Positive for influenza A, but negative for H1 and H3 by influenza RT-PCR, or 2. Positive for influenza A by an influenza rapid test or an influenza immunofluorescence assay (IFA) plus meets criteria for a suspected case.

(Type your last name here) 3A suspected case of swine flu A (H1N1) virus infection defined as a person with acute febrile respiratory illness with onset 1. Within 7 days of close contact with a person who is a confirmed case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection, or 2. Within 7 days of travel to community either within the United States or internationally where there are one or more confirmed swine influenza A (H1N1) cases, or 3. Resides in a community where there is one or more confirmed swine influenza cases.

The CDC insists that over the counter flu medications such as Tamiflu and Relenzaspecifically are proving effective against the new strain. Both drugs, however, must be consumed within the early stages of symptoms or preferably before symptoms arise to be most beneficial. Officials from the Center for Disease Control are working on a “seed” stock that would be fashioned into a vaccine if necessary. Unfortunately, mass-production of such a vaccine would not be suitable for administering until September of 2009. Until further information on the swine influenza are uncovered by scientists, it is recommended one avoid communal travel until the infection’s incubation period, which is seven days, has past.Covering the mouth when one sneezes or coughs, washing one’s hands often with soap and water, using alcohol-based hand cleansers, and avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth is a good way to refrain from the spreading of germs. The avoidance of those already infected with the virus is pertinent to maintaining good health especially since influenzas of all kinds are thought to be spread through person-to-person contact such as coughing, sneezing, kissing, and shaking hands.Although, the H1N1 influenza virus is referred to in the United States as “swine flu”, influenza is not transmitted by human consumption of pork or pork products, but through the air.

Since the nature of the virus is airborne the World Health Organization has raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4 which indicates the actuality of a worldwide pandemic. (Type your last name here) 4 Works Cited Beck, Melinda. “Seeking Lessons From the Past to Fight Flu. ” What You Can Do as Officials Ponder How Best to Respond to a Potential Pandemic. The Wall Street Journal.

US Edition. D1. 28 April 2009.

2009 Dow Jones & Company http://online. wsj. com/article/health_journal. html/.