Swine flu returns

27 April 2009

swineA novel strain of H1N1 swine influenza virus has now also been isolated from cases of respiratory disease in Mexico City, New York City, and two locations in Canada. Clearly I was wrong in hypothesizing that the five mild cases in Texas and California reported last week were not a cause for alarm.

In Mexico City there have been over 1,000 cases of respiratory illness, with 86 fatalities. The influenza virus isolated from these individuals is similar to the H1N1 virus found in the American children last week. This virus has caused four cases of influenza in Nova Scotia, and two in British Columbia, Canada. It has also been isolated in Kansas and New York City. All American and Canadian infections have so far been mild.

There isn’t much information yet available about the genetic and antigenic composition of the virus, but CDC has said that it contains genetic material from North American swine and avian influenza viruses, human influenza virus, and swine influenza viruses found in Asia and Europe. The specific combination of viral RNA segments has not been observed previously.

The extent of spread of the swine virus has sent news organizations, governments, and health agencies into a full-tilt pandemic preparedness mode. It’s certainly advisable to be cautious when dealing with a potentially lethal virus, but is it likely that this is the next pandemic strain?

The influenza season is nearly over in the northern hemisphere – it usually does not continue beyond May. Increasing temperature and humidity are likely to curtail transmission of the virus very rapidly. The same virus could return in the fall, but by then a vaccine could be produced and distributed.

The southern hemisphere is another story – the influenza season there is just starting. It is certainly possible that this swine virus might cause extensive epidemics.

Remember that the virus that is scaring everyone is of the H1 subtype. One of the currently circulating human influenza viruses is also of the H1 subtype – the human H1N1 virus. Although the swine H1N1 virus is antigenically different from the human H1N1 virus, it is possible that those who have been infected with the human strain could be partially protected from the swine strain. Such individuals might experience less severe disease than those with no immunological memory of an H1 virus. I have not seen immunological data that would allow assessment of this possibility.

Pandemic influenza has always been a consequence of viruses of a new subtype – for example the 1968 pandemic was caused by a virus of the H3N2 subtype, which replaced the H2N2 virus. The swine virus is of the same subtype as the currently circulating human H1N1 strain. Of course, if the swine H1 HA protein is sufficiently different from the human H1 HA protein it could lead to a pandemic despite being of the same subtype.

Infection of a Spanish woman with a swine H1N1 virus was reported in February of 2009. That virus appears to be phylogenetically close to European swine influenza viruses. Such infections have been reported from time to time, and most likely represent dead-end transmission of a pig virus to a human. The H1N1 swine influenza virus circulating in the Americas has acquired the ability to be transmitted among humans. Within the next few weeks we should learn whether it has the capability of spreading throughout the entire southern hemisphere.

Van Reeth, K, & Nicoll, A (2009). A human case of swine influenza virus infection in Europe – Implications for human health and research Eurosurveillance, 14 (7), 19124-19125

  • ET

    I heard Spain, France, UK, and New Zeland as well. So I wouldn't say you were wrong, but probably due to your understanding of such things, your not nearly as likely to get all 'end-of-the-world' as the rest of us are. But, it does lead to an entirely new set of questions.

    I know you studied influenza-Do you have any theories as to why the mortality rate (apparently) is higher in Mexico than it is elsewhere?

    Are viruses more likely to get more or less pathogenic as time goes on?

    Should we be saving our Relenza and Tamiflu for if this does become highly pathogenic?

    I keep thinking about the Great Influenza book-That in an era with no planes, the virus traveled around the world three times. Given our capacity for travel now, is quarantine even possible?

    This has become eerily like Aidan's pandemic game: Virus reported in mexico; Virus reported in Europe; Virus reported in New Zeland; Public transit shut down in Mexico; Deaths reported…

    Personally, I'm totally captivated.

  • http://www.bayblab.blogspot.com rob

    I am curious as to why many serious infections in Mexico are in youngish people, when usually the flu is more serious in the old and the very young.
    FYI. Mexico is in North America.

  • Cam

    I Live in Australia and We've just heard that a Mexican Plane has landed in Australia with the Infection and is being Querentined at this moment. We are in terrible crisis of this because it is Airborn and might spread throught the Southern Hemisphere. Although this is very like to the Bird Flu everywere you go your plane or boat will be sprayed so you have a very low chance of catching it if someone might have it throughout the plane.

  • BAP

    It would be very informative to know the origin of the specific H1 (and other) genes- avian or swine; it is unlikely that the H1 gene is from a current H1N1 human virus because it would be too similar to previous human H1N1 influenza viruses to presumably cause a pandemic.

  • Ramachandran

    What is a flu?

    This is a general disease based on blood disorders. The human skin is affected by various bacteria which penetrate through hair follicle and enters in to flesh. This wound creates Puss, which spreads in the blood resulting in BP. The reasons for the wounds in side the flesh are due to Vatha, Piththa and Kabha. These disorders are also formed due to consumables from lots of Ice, fridge foods, lots of cholesterol.

    How the Vatha, the vayu is the reason for flu?

    When the Oxygen is inhaled continuously it passes through lungs, reached heart and helps to purify the blood. When the continuous supply of the oxygen is blocked due to breathing trouble, the flow of blood is affected which results in dry blood vessels., and when the breath takes its own flow and fast pressure is applied the blood vessels develop scratches/ crack, from the crack, develops puss, which forms as flu.

    This flu in Sidhdha has number of names depending on the origin of the part of the body it forms.

    Swine Flu

    Swine flu symptoms:
    Symptoms of swine flu are like regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Many people with swine flu have had diarrhea and vomiting. Nearly everyone with flu has at least two of these symptoms. But these symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions. That means that you and your doctor can't know, just based on your symptoms, if you've got swine flu. It takes a lab test to tell whether it's swine flu or some other condition .
    Lyme Disease
    In the U.S., the Western black-legged tick and the deer tick can carry Lyme disease bacteria. Infected ticks usually don't spread the disease until they've been attached for at least 36 hours. The first sign of infection is usually a circular skin rash. Early symptoms may also include fever, headache, and fatigue. Untreated Lyme disease may spread to other parts of the body, including the muscles, joints, heart, and nervous system. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics .
    According to Ayur Veda, blood disorders are due to Swelling, Bursting, and shrinking of blood vessels that creates flu.
    This flu is due to drinking of water directly from overhead tanks, where the water doesn’t absorbed light directly from SUN., where it gains iron, and increasing Hb.
    The contaminated water which is stored in water tank, comes through pipe, when boiled the germs are not dying but the virus are paralyzed with heat and again when brought to room temperature, these viruses gains its effect and when swallowed through throat, this forms Phlegm which has viruses formed in larynx that goes to lungs . In tests we can not detect these viruses at initial stages. These viruses may be like this
    When these viruses are in full growth stage it is difficult to destroy this through oral, IV or IM. These viruses eats away the flesh in throat, make a hole, preventing the flow of air to lungs, blocking the free flow of blood. The total life of these viruses is 22 days.

    These viruses eat away the salts in the flesh and attracted towards the salt. And spreads like cancer.
    In cancer the cancer cell eats away the heating elements of oxygen, the iron and in swine flu the cell eats away the salt or chlorine in the flesh of the veins that weakens the free flow of blood.
    These flu are showing its vigorous face when the Tea estates and coffee estates starts its flowering season.
    In Tamil Nadu, South India the Hill tribes used Chinkona bark to come out of this flu . In Sanskrit it is called kala kanjana the black disease affecting the liver.
    But this Chinchona Bark, which was lifted to Europe by English, from which quinine was prepared, showed a failure result when taken orally. Continuous use of this quinine resulted in enlarged Liver, and Tuberculosis in Kidney. The urine will be of Rose or red color, mixed with mucous shows heated/ warm liver. When this urine turns in to crude humours with fever shows the death of the patient is nearing .

    After analyzing this I am of the opinion that if few methods are applied we may control the swine flu and if we follow discipline in our food culture the swine flu can be eliminated.

    v

  • Ramachandran

    What is a flu?

    This is a general disease based on blood disorders. The human skin is affected by various bacteria which penetrate through hair follicle and enters in to flesh. This wound creates Puss, which spreads in the blood resulting in BP. The reasons for the wounds in side the flesh are due to Vatha, Piththa and Kabha. These disorders are also formed due to consumables from lots of Ice, fridge foods, lots of cholesterol.

    How the Vatha, the vayu is the reason for flu?

    When the Oxygen is inhaled continuously it passes through lungs, reached heart and helps to purify the blood. When the continuous supply of the oxygen is blocked due to breathing trouble, the flow of blood is affected which results in dry blood vessels., and when the breath takes its own flow and fast pressure is applied the blood vessels develop scratches/ crack, from the crack, develops puss, which forms as flu.

    This flu in Sidhdha has number of names depending on the origin of the part of the body it forms.

    Swine Flu

    Swine flu symptoms:
    Symptoms of swine flu are like regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Many people with swine flu have had diarrhea and vomiting. Nearly everyone with flu has at least two of these symptoms. But these symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions. That means that you and your doctor can't know, just based on your symptoms, if you've got swine flu. It takes a lab test to tell whether it's swine flu or some other condition .
    Lyme Disease
    In the U.S., the Western black-legged tick and the deer tick can carry Lyme disease bacteria. Infected ticks usually don't spread the disease until they've been attached for at least 36 hours. The first sign of infection is usually a circular skin rash. Early symptoms may also include fever, headache, and fatigue. Untreated Lyme disease may spread to other parts of the body, including the muscles, joints, heart, and nervous system. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics .
    According to Ayur Veda, blood disorders are due to Swelling, Bursting, and shrinking of blood vessels that creates flu.
    This flu is due to drinking of water directly from overhead tanks, where the water doesn’t absorbed light directly from SUN., where it gains iron, and increasing Hb.
    The contaminated water which is stored in water tank, comes through pipe, when boiled the germs are not dying but the virus are paralyzed with heat and again when brought to room temperature, these viruses gains its effect and when swallowed through throat, this forms Phlegm which has viruses formed in larynx that goes to lungs . In tests we can not detect these viruses at initial stages. These viruses may be like this
    When these viruses are in full growth stage it is difficult to destroy this through oral, IV or IM. These viruses eats away the flesh in throat, make a hole, preventing the flow of air to lungs, blocking the free flow of blood. The total life of these viruses is 22 days.

    These viruses eat away the salts in the flesh and attracted towards the salt. And spreads like cancer.
    In cancer the cancer cell eats away the heating elements of oxygen, the iron and in swine flu the cell eats away the salt or chlorine in the flesh of the veins that weakens the free flow of blood.
    These flu are showing its vigorous face when the Tea estates and coffee estates starts its flowering season.
    In Tamil Nadu, South India the Hill tribes used Chinkona bark to come out of this flu . In Sanskrit it is called kala kanjana the black disease affecting the liver.
    But this Chinchona Bark, which was lifted to Europe by English, from which quinine was prepared, showed a failure result when taken orally. Continuous use of this quinine resulted in enlarged Liver, and Tuberculosis in Kidney. The urine will be of Rose or red color, mixed with mucous shows heated/ warm liver. When this urine turns in to crude humours with fever shows the death of the patient is nearing .

    After analyzing this I am of the opinion that if few methods are applied we may control the swine flu and if we follow discipline in our food culture the swine flu can be eliminated.

    v

  • Drpkkhatri

    It is generaly known that  low temperature and high humidity favours the spread of swine H1N1 2009 .but recently I have come across the some cases of Swine H1N1,confirmed by RT-PCR in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan state in India.Here the temperatrue is ranging between 42    to 45 degree centigrate and humidity ranging between 50-60 %.Normally during this summer season swine influenza H1N1 cases are not reported.What would be the reason?

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