Swine Flu Now H1N1- What’s Going On
Novel influenza A (H1N1) is a new flu virus of swine origin that first caused illness in Mexico and the United States in March and April, 2009. It’s thought that novel influenza A (H1N1) flu spreads in the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread, mainly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick with the virus, but it may also be spread by touching infected objects and then touching your nose or mouth. Novel H1N1 infection has been reported to cause a wide range of flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In addition, many people also have reported nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
The first two novel H1N1 patient in the United States was confirmed by laboratory testing at CDC in April 2009. It was quickly determined that the virus was spreading from person-to-person. On The CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to better coordinate the public health response. Also the United States Government declared a public health emergency and has been actively and aggressively implementing the nation’s pandemic response plan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a global pandemic of swine flu/ novel influenza A (H1N1) was underway by raising the worldwide pandemic alert level. This action was a reflection of the spread of the new H1N1 virus, not the severity of illness caused by the virus. At the time, more than 70 countries had reported cases of novel influenza A (H1N1) infection and there were ongoing community level outbreaks of novel H1N1 in multiple parts of the world.
To prevent infection:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (about the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice). Advice from the CDC about the situation is, “Very frequent hand-washing is something that we talk about time and time again and that is a helpful way to reduce transmission of disease,”. They also advise, “If you’re sick, it’s very important that people stay at home. If your children are sick, have a fever and flu-like illness, they shouldn’t go to school. And if you’re ill, you shouldn’t get on an airplane or another public transport to travel. Those things are part of personal liability in trying to reduce the impact. “
If you become sick and notice early onset of body aches, vomiting and dizziness you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible. Although it is very unlikely that you have the Swine Flu/(H1N1) virus, you should get medical confirmation just to be safe.
Most at risk for infection are children and young adults under the age of 25 have been the most likely to contract the virus in the United States. For seasonal flu, the elderly, the very young and the chronically ill are usually most susceptible. Officials are still trying to figure out where exactly the virus originated, how infectious it is and why it is mild in some cases and deadlier in others. In the mean time. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, preferably with a tissue. No tissue? Do the “Dracula sneeze” — into the crook of the elbow. And be on a heightened alert to signs and symptoms of the Swine Flu/novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. See you doctor if any unusual flu like symptoms occur.