Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beware of H1N1 Virus

Influenza A virus subtype (H1N1) commonly referred as "swine flu", identified in April 2009, is a 2009 flu pandemic, which is transmitted between humans. It is thought to be a mutation of 4 known strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 ; one endemic in humans, one endemic in birds, and two endemics in pigs (swine).

The virus typically spreads from coughs and sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the nose or mouth. Symptoms are similar to :

1) Seasonal flu
2) Fever
3) Sore throat
4) Coughs
5) Headache
6) Muscle or joint pains
7) Difficulty in breathing
8) Loss of appetite

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (51), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Costa Rica (1), Denmark (1), France (2), Germany (6), Israel (3), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (4), Republic of Korea (1), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (15). Influenza viruses are not known to be spread by eating food items.