Swine Influenza

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Europe, Central America, and North America are now affected, at least 200 people have died, and the World Health Organization has issued a level 5 alert status(out of 6), which they have never done before, all because of a virus called swine flu. Swine Influenza outbreaks were originally reported in Mexico on April 24, 2009. This virus is very common in pigs but rare in humans, but people who are exposed a lot to pigs have a chance of catching it. For this to happen, the swine influenza has to undergo a mutation, and then is easily able to be passed on to humans. The influenza A virus subtype H1N1 is the mutated variation responsible for the ongoing 2009 swine flu outbreak.

The symptoms for swine influenza are much the same as those of the common flu, for example: chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, and bodily dizziness. Most cases are not serious and can be treated with a simple anti-viral medication. There are some cases that are more serious however, and there have been increasing reports of death, the first one in the United States being a small toddler in southern Texas.

The seriousness of the virus was reported the World Health Organization and they immediately issued a Phase 5 Pandemic alert status, which means that the virus has spread across multiple countries, and that an epidemic is emminant. So far the strain has been spread to Spain, Israel, New Zealand, the UK, France, South Korea, Austria, and is continuing to spread constantly. In Mexico, schools were closed and public events cancelled from April 24th until May 6th, and dozens of schools in the U.S closed due to the severity of the cases of the influenza. Since the virus’s mutation, it is no longer limited to pig to human transmissions; it has become a human to human strand. Aside from the one death in Texas, all of the reported deaths have been in Mexico. Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world has proven to be a very bad place to get swine flu because of its high population and its close quarters for everyone. Another factor is a lack of sanitation in some parts, as well as a smaller supply of medical supplies. Contrary to all other influenza patterns, the swine influenza, instead of affecting very young people and old people, affects young healthy people the most, although it still affects the elderly to a certain extent.

Luckily, prevention for the virus is very easy. Such simple steps include just washing one’s hands, covering one’s mouth when sneezing, and limiting when one touches the eyes, nose or mouth. Also, studies have shown that consumption of pork will not result in swine flu.

Hopefully the proper steps will be taken to ensure that the pandemic will be subdued as soon as possible, and that the situation will not escalade into a Phase 6 alert status. If people maintain good sanitation habits and stay educated on the virus, the out breaks should be fewer and more controlled, and eventually, not occur anymore.





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BellaLuna said...
Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:16 am
do u think this might get like the spainish influenza? we need carlisle cullen! lol nope i got this. it feels icky. but not deadly.
 
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