H1N1 Strand Update:
The H1N1 strand of the swine flu has broken out across the globe. The United States Center for Disease Control has confirmed the H1N1 strand has spread from Mexico in the US. Additional countries report confirmed cases every day. As a result, the World Health Organization has raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4 which is confirmed person to person spread of a new virus that is able to cause community-level influenza outbreaks. The likelihood of a pandemic has increased significantly as signaled by the rise in pandemic alert phase.
It is believed that the swine influenza H1N1 strand virus is susceptible to some prescription drugs available today. These drugs are called Oseltamivir and Zanamivir. In an attempt to contain the virus a travel warning has been issued that recommends people to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico.
About H1N1 Strand of Swine Flu:
Swine flu is the common name given to Influenza A H1N1, which is a new viral strand. A H1N1 strand vaccine is at least a few months away still. Despite wide spread media coverage this strand is still just a small fraction as deadly as the regular Influenza A virus which infects about 10% of the US population every year and causes over 20,000 deaths. What make H1N1 scary is its genomic layout which has a better chance of hiding from the human immune system and persisting in our bodies than the common viral strains we have all had. Rapid antigenic shifts in the H1N1 strand have made creation of a vaccine and pre-designed flu shots most complex. If no answer is found a pandemic could result.
Swine Flu is different from Bird Flu (Avian influenza) in that the viruses replicate in the respiratory tract rather than in the gastrointestinal tract. H1N1 strand or Swine Flu is actually a combination of two pig Influenza viruses. The exact origin though is still not known yet. It is best to not give in to mass hysteria over the Swine Flu yet and but your faith in science to come up with a cure. Tamiflu is another drug that fights related viruses. It is in short order due to the Bird and Swine flu outbreaks but there are still places where you can buy Tamiflu.