We’ll chat about a fascinating book, audiobook, movie, blog, website, etc. It might be trendy or unpopular, old or new…it’s sure to be interesting and it’s hosted by yours truly! Please offer your thoughts on our Friday’s Find and share your own. Don’t forget to link-back to Book Reviews By Bobbie; if you leave a comment in this week’s Friday’s Find, other people will be able to stop by & read your post as well.
This Friday’s Find is a VIRUS:
Influenza A (H1N1) virus is a subtype of influenzavirus A and the most common cause of influenza (flu) in humans. Some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans and cause a small fraction of all influenza-like illness and a large fraction of all seasonal influenza. H1N1 strains caused roughly half of all human flu infections in 2006. Other strains of H1N1 are endemic in pigs (swine influenza) and in birds (avian influenza).
In June 2009, World Health Organization declared that flu due to a new strain of swine-origin H1N1 was responsible for the 2009 flu pandemic. This strain is often called “swine flu” by the public media.
Swine influenza (also called swine flu, hog flu, pig flu and sometimes, the swine) is an infection by any one of several types of swine influenza virus. Swine influenza virus (SIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.
Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human influenza, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human influenza, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection. The meat of an infected animal poses no risk of infection when properly cooked.
During the mid-20th century, identification of influenza subtypes became possible, allowing accurate diagnosis of transmission to humans. Since then, only 50 such transmissions have been confirmed. These strains of swine flu rarely pass from human to human. Symptoms of zoonotic swine flu in humans are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. The recommended time of isolation is about five days.
Preliminary genetic characterization found that the hemagglutinin (HA) gene was similar to that of swine flu viruses present in U.S. pigs since 1999, but the neuraminidase (NA) and matrix protein (M) genes resembled versions present in European swine flu isolates. The six genes from American swine flu are themselves mixtures of swine flu, bird flu, and human flu viruses. While viruses with this genetic makeup had not previously been found to be circulating in humans or pigs, there is no formal national surveillance system to determine what viruses are circulating in pigs in the U.S.
On June 11, 2009, the WHO declared an H1N1 pandemic, moving the alert level to phase 6, marking the first global pandemic since the 1968 Hong Kong flu.
An October 11, 2009 worldwide update by the U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO) states that “74 countries have officially reported over 399,234 laboratory confirmed cases of the influenza pandemic H1N1 infection, including 4,735 deaths.”
Already this fall, 292 deaths have been reported by the 28 states reporting laboratory-confirmed H1N1 cases to the CDC. Schuchat said the number of cases likely reflected under-reporting, but that the ages of affected patients was probably a good reflection of practice.
The age breakdown was:
* 3.1% ages 4 and under
* 13.7% ages 5 to 18
* 6.8% ages 19 to 24
* 32.5% ages 25 to 49
* 32.2% ages 50 to 64
* 11.6% ages 65 and older
Over the same Sept. 1 to Oct. 10 period, there were 4,958 laboratory-confirmed H1N1-related hospitalizations reported to the CDC by 27 states.
The ages of those hospitalized were:
* 19% ages 4 and younger
* 25.3% ages 5 to 18
* 8.7% ages 19 to 24
* 24% ages 25 to 49
* 15% ages 50 to 64
* 7.2% ages 65 and older
On October 25, 2009 U.S. President Barack Obama officially declared H1N1 a “national emergency”.
A study -conducted in coordination with the University of Michigan Health Service- is scheduled for publication in the December 2009 American Journal of Roentgenology warning that H1N1 flu can cause pulmonary emboli, surmised as a leading cause of death in this current pandemic. The study authors suggest physician evaluation via contrast enhanced CT scans for the presence of pulmonary emboli when caring for patients diagnosed with respiratory complications from a “severe” case of the H1N1 flu.
DS and I got our seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccination today and I’m happy that we did. It will take 2 weeks before we have immunity but at least we’ve taken the first step!
Are YOU going to get vaccinated?