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The Scary Virus
H1N1

An outbreak of the H1N1 virus (swine flu) has lately caused concerns of a worldwide pandemic. As of this writing, the World Health Organization (also known as WHO) reports that thirty-nine countries have documented cases of the disease.

So, what is H1N1? The H1N1 virus, frequently called the swine flu is a virus that causes influenza in humans. The virus has gone through a recent mutation into its current form. Due to this mutation, humans have no protection from the disease. This is why authorities are worried about the chance of a pandemic.

The virus contains 2 genes from a typical pig virus, 1 gene from the avian flu virus, and 1 gene from human influenza virus. So now that we've responded to the query of what is H1N1, what about the symptoms? The symptoms of the H1N1 swine flu virus in people are similar to the those of the typical seasonal influenza virus. They include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A number of people have also reported diarrhea and nausea.

And, like the seasonal flu, severe illnesses and death has happened as a result of illness associated with this serious disease. In the U. S. alone, about 36,000 people die each year from flu related issues. In Malaysia now, 5 people was died and many strategies has taken by the government to reduce this phenomena to become more worse.

Now that we've covered what is H1N1 and its symptoms, how about H1N1 complications and special risk factors? Typically the following people are at a major risk for complications: people 65 years of age and older, youngsters below the age of five, pregnant individuals, and those with certain chronic conditions. These chronic conditions consist of people with asthma, diabetes, COPD, and people with compromised immune systems. This includes those taking immunosuppressant drugs. People with any of the risk factors above should consult with their physician even before a flu onset occurs.

Medical professionals are worried that a worldwide pandemic could occur at any time. Pandemics seem to spread in waves and frequently pass around the planet 2 or 3 times. The 2nd or third wave is frequently more serious than the 1st. This is how it happened in the 1918 flu pandemic which is thought to have killed at least 50 million people. It is possible a more significant outbreak of the disease will occur during the normal flu season.

If you are worried about the safety your family, or know someone that has some of the special risk factors stated above, do some swine flu preparation. Take steps today to protect yourself and your loved ones from the swine flu. Once a pandemic strikes, it could be too late to do anything.
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