Swine Influenza | H1N1 Influenza A Vaccine

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Swine influenza (also called swine flu, hog flu, and pig flu) 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.

Influenza A

Swine influenza is known to be caused by influenza A subtypes H1N1, H1N2, H2N3, H3N1, and H3N2. In pigs, three influenza A virus subtypes (H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2) are the most common strains worldwide. In the United States, the H1N1 subtype was exclusively prevalent among swine populations before 1998; however, since late August 1998, H3N2 subtypes have been isolated from pigs. As of 2004, H3N2 virus isolates in US swine and turkey stocks were triple reassortants, containing genes from human (HA, NA, and PB1), swine (NS, NP, and M), and avian (PB2 and PA) lineages.

The best defense for H1N1 Influenza: A vaccine to protect people from swine flu, before the pandemic peaks. Will there be a vaccine? Perhaps not that soon. And the clock is ticking away the short amount of time before federal officials, including President Barack Obama, have to make hard choices about whether and how fast to get swine flu shots to everyone who wants one. Or at least to those who most need one.

Prevention of swine influenza has three components: prevention in swine, prevention of transmission to humans, and prevention of its spread among humans.

source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swine_flu & ebmd.com

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