May 02

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Swine Flu – Explain Stuff – Fact of the Day

I have been traveling a lot and was extremely busy for the last 4 days and have not been able to put up with posting new posts in the blog. Extremely sorry for that!

But I’m with a more lively, important and current topic today. I’m on my way back to Dallas from NH after my interview with Chase, and am writing this in the terminal. I have been hearing a lot about Swine flu lately and even see a few people wearing masks in the airports. When everybody is so freaked out, what better topic than Swine Flu ???!!! This is my 2 cents of knowledge to help you understand swine flu better and help you prevent it. Share your knowledge and save someone!

Explain StuffExplain Swine Flu?
explain swine flu
All image rights to the owner!

Swine influenza (also called swine flu, hog flu, and pig flu) refers to influenza caused by those strains of influenza virus that usually infect pigs and are called swine influenza virus (SIV). Swine influenza is common in pigs in the mid-western United States (and occasionally in other states), Mexico, Canada, South America, Europe (including the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Italy), Kenya, Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and other parts of eastern Asia.

Transmission of Swine Influenza Virus from pigs to humans is uncommon. When it results in human influenza, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People who work with pigs, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of catching swine flu. However, only about fifty such transmissions have been recorded since the mid-20th Century, when identification of influenza subtypes became possible. (Importantly, eating pork does not pose a risk of infection.) So, you can still eat that Ham in the refrigerator! Yummmm.

Rarely, these strains of swine flu can pass from human to human. In humans, the symptoms of swine flu 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 2009 flu outbreak in humans that is widely known as “swine flu” is due to a new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that was produced by reassortment from one strain of human influenza virus, one strain of avian influenza virus, and two separate strains of SIV. The origin of this new strain is unknown, and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reports that this strain has not been isolated in pigs. It passes with apparent ease from human to human, an ability attributed to an as-yet unidentified mutation. This 2009 H1N1 strain causes the normal symptoms of influenza, such as fever, coughing and headache.

Explain StuffIs Swine Flu in my place?
Swine Flu has not just been prevalent in specific areas in the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak. It has spread faster and over a vast number of countries. Some of the majorly affected countries are Mexico, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, France, Israel, South Korea, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Austria, Denmark, and Netherlands.

WHO has lately chided Mexico for not taking immediate measures to limit the spread of the virus after the initial recognition of it’s outbreak.

In a recent development swine flu has also been responsible for the shut down of schools. Read more about that here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30398682/ According to this article many schools have been closed for up to 14 days.

Explain StuffSwine Flu Life Cycle
Swine Flu - Life Cycle.

This picture explains it clearly. Credit to original creator.

On a very brilliant note! Some one has also created an application to avoid Swine Flu. Honestly, I’m loling at how it will function. Read more about that here. Talk about geeks! zomg!

Explain StuffWhat the *eck should I do now?

Experts agree that hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, including ordinary influenza and the swine flu virus. Influenza can spread in coughs or sneezes, but an increasing body of evidence shows small droplets containing the virus can linger on tabletops, telephones and other surfaces and be transferred via the fingers to the mouth, nose or eyes. Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should contact a doctor to be tested.

Also share any other good details about swine flu. Leave the urls, comments, share details, on how to prevent. If you are one of those unfortunate to get affected by swine flu, please share your experiences and help others prevent it.

Hot Stuff at http://www.explainstuff.com

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.explainstuff.com/2009/05/02/swine-flu-explain-stuff-fact-of-the-day/


  1. flu vaccine researcher

    It’s really nice to read it, but you have to work on your style a bit 😉 Cheers!

  2. JunLee Arandia

    My brother got infected with H1N1 or Swine Flu in Mexico. He got a mild fever and luckily he did not die.

  3. Acne

    If you look at the pandemic of 1977, when H1N1 or Swine Flu re-emerged after a 20 year absence, there is no shift in age-related mortality pattern. The 1977 “pandemic” is, of course, not considered a true pandemic by experts today, for reasons that are not entierely consistent. It certainly was an antigenic shift and not an antigenic drift. As far as I have been able to follow the current events, the most significant factor seems to have been that most people, who were severely affected, were people with other medical conditions.

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