Swine Influenza (H1N1), or otherwise known simply as Swine Flu, seems to be reeking havoc globally. With the earliest case being a little boy tucked away in Mexico, the World Heath Organization has reported that there are about 105 confirmed cases of Swine Flu worldwide.
The World Health Organization says at least 105 cases have been confirmed worldwide, including 64 in the United States; 26 in Mexico; six in Canada; three in New Zealand; and two each in Spain, the United Kingdom and Israel. WHO has confirmed deaths only in Mexico, where seven people have died from swine flu.
Swine Flu is a respiratory disease caused by a certain type of strain on type A influenza. It’s found most commonly in pigs and is very rare to find in humans. There are many misconceptions about how Swine Flu is passed from person to person, especially because humans are more likely to receive it from close contact with pigs. Although I’ve heard many assume that Swine Flu comes from and is transmitted through the mishandling of pork products, it’s actually passed from human contact in the same way seasonal flu can be. By not doing simple things like washing our hands, or covering our mouths when coughing or sneezing, and even contaminated surfaces are theories as to how this pandemic has spread.
The symptoms are similar to those of the common flu, antiviral drugs are recommended for treatment and prevention of the swine flu. These drugs can be be obtained by prescription only, and should be taken within a few days of symptoms showing.
“I think the reason to be concerned is … we had a vaccine for regular flu,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. “This is a totally new virus. … You have a virus to which there’s no pre-vaccination, there’s no prior immunity. And, therefore, the mortality rate may be higher than other influenza viruses.”