Sunday, August 30, 2009


In recent times we hear a lot about this topic,”Swine Flu”. But are we sure that all these information are reliable? Of course every Government and WHO are helping at its most to deliver us the true facts and preventive measures. But here, this is a little effort to give you every important detail on swine flu in a single document.


It is well known that there are 3 major outbreaks of swine flu in history out of which 2 are pandemic.

1918 Pandemics:

It was caused by H1N1 virus. It took 6 to 9 months to spread when the travel across the countries was only by ship and train. It was also estimated that 50 to 100 million people were dead. It is believed now that the virus undergone reassortment within a mammal and remained transient.

1976-The US Outbreak:

The outbreak was identified when a military recruit at Fort Dix, New Jersey was found to be infected with a variant of H1N1 in February, 1976. Soon a vaccination program was started by the President Ford. Few of the vaccinated people reported Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a neuromuscular disorder as a side effect. But it is a rare side effect with present modern vaccination.

2009 Outbreak:

The first victim was found in Mexico on March, 2009. This time it was because of a new strain of H1N1 which was a result of reassortment of strains. It was not previously reported on pigs. And also the outbreak must have started before it was recognized.

What is Reassortment?

It is common in influenza viruses. The genetic material of viruses infecting same host can be mixed resulting in a new one. This new virus inherits properties of both its parent.


While circulating in general community of people there is a possibility that H1N1 virus can get mixed up with other seasonal flu resulting in unpredictable ways.

“The virus writes the rules and this one, like all influenza viruses, can change the rules, without rhyme or reason, at any time”, said Dr.Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO.


It is transmitted mainly through contact with the contaminated surfaces. It is transmitted from human to human through respiratory droplets.

But cooked pork is truly safe to eat.


The symptoms of swine flu are much similar to the seasonal flu-fever, sneezes, sore throat, coughs, headache and joint pains. In some cases diarrhea and vomiting is also reported. Most of the cases are mild. There are chances of serious complications for the people above 65years, below 5years, pregnant women and people with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disorder or a weakened immune system.


The best ways to avoid all kind of influenzas are frequent hand washing, balanced diet, sufficient sleep and avoiding crowds. Masks may be of benefit. If masks are used proper use and disposal is recommended. Since incorrect use may increase the risk.

Things to be remembered when masks are worn:

  • minimize the gaps between face and mask.
  • cover mouth and nose properly.
  • replace it when it becomes damp.
  • no reuse of single-use mask.


When someone is sick do not rush to the hospital. It may not be swine but swine can be caught there. Instead stay at home and call your physician or any helpline number.

Things to be done when u got flu like symptoms:

  • stay at home and follow the instructions given by the Ministry of Health.
  • maintain distance from the well beings.
  • cover mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing.
  • improve airflow in living space.

The antiviral drugs recommended by WHO are Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza). These antiviral drugs are used to deactivate an enzyme needed by the virus to grow and spread. Use of antiviral drugs can cause side effects. These drugs are for cases with serious complications. People with mild to moderate severity do not need these drugs. It is also feared that H1N1 may combine with seasonal flu and become drug resistant.


WHO expects that the vaccine will not be available till the end of 2009. It takes 5 to 6 months for the full process of preparing a vaccine. The initial dosage is planned to make available for pregnant women, health care workers and children below 5 years.


The circulation pattern of swine flu in Northern Hemisphere is same. The spread of seasonal flu is at low speed and of swine flu continues to spread.

Whereas in Southern Hemisphere it forms a mixed pattern. In Chile 99% of the flu cases are H1N1. In South Africa seasonal flu plays dominant. In Australia we got a mixed pattern. In Southern Hemisphere the flu is likely to spread since it is approaching its winter season.

WHO Data Reports:

In July 6, there were 94512 cases of swine flu in 122 countries with 429 deaths. In August 23, the toll increased to 209,438 cases with 2185 deaths.

The very best thing that can be done now is stay informed. Look for reliable information. And learn what you can do to protect you and your family.


  1. Hi dear,
    Nice article about swine flu....
    Detailed here about prevention, i like it...
    thanks for sharing such type of nice articles in blog...


  2. Thanks for encouraging us ajay...
    ur comment really boost us... Thanks for visiting our blog and give comment on us :)