Thursday, April 30, 2009

After Avian Flu its now Swine Flu ...!.

I am wondering how many flus?. Human flu, Dog flu, Horse flu, Avian flu and Swine flu. In all these cases, the strains have "mutated" which really scares me. If we analyze what happened after the avian flu, one need to be really worried and something has to be done either to avoid the outbreak or take precautions.

Swine influenza (swine flu) refers to influenza caused by any strain of the influenza virus endemic in pigs (swine). Strains endemic in swine are called swine influenza virus (SIV). Human flu is caused by, 3 types of virus Influenza Virus A, B & C. Its interesting to note that virus B has not been so for reported in pigs (swine) and also the strains those are endemic to both humans and swine of Virus A & C are largely distinct !.

Swine flu is common in swine and rare in humans, but however people who work with swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of catching swine influenza if the swine carry a strain able to infect humans. However, these strains rarely are able to pass from human to human. Rarely, SIV mutates into a form able to pass easily from human to human. In humans, the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza like chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort.

The flu outbreak in humans is due to a new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that derives in part from human influenza, avian influenza, and two separate strains of swine influenza and the origins of this new strain are unknown. It passes with apparent ease from human to human, an ability attributed to an as-yet unidentified mutation. Though the strain in most cases causes only mild symptoms and the infected person makes a full recovery without requiring medical attention and without the use of antiviral drugs. But the out break is causing a real concern.

The reason for concern:

The flu virus is perhaps the trickiest known to medical science; it constantly changes form to elude the protective antibodies that the body has developed in response to previous exposures to influenza or to influenza vaccines. Every two or three years the virus undergoes minor changes. Then, at intervals of roughly a decade, after the bulk of the world's population has developed some level of resistance to these minor changes, it undergoes a major shift that enables it to tear off on yet another pandemic sweep around the world, infecting hundreds of millions of people who suddenly find their antibody defenses outflanked, which is the main reason for the out break And these analyses are being substantiated by the facts that 1.during the Spanish flu pandemic, the initial wave of the disease was relatively mild, while the second wave was highly lethal; and 2. most of us know about the avian flu’s history starting from 1957 ……I am wondering why we are giving undue importance for swine flu to be Mexican flu, North American influenza, swine-origin influenza, and 2009 H1N1 flu, whatever the name may be as human beings first we should think seriously and due importance should be given to this field of research. ……More....

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