Subscribe News Feed Subscribe Comments

PMS Official Friendster

PMS Official Friendster
Add Kami di Friendster

H1N1..Protect yourself!!

What Does H1N1 Swine Flu Really Mean ?

As controversy swirls about using the term “swine flu” for the A H1N1 virus currently sweeping around the globe, the question arises: what the heck does H1N1 mean?

Earlier this week, Israeli deputy health minister, Yakov Litzman, a member of an ultra-religious party, said that the name “swine flu” should not be used as it contains the name of an animal banned by Judaism. Instead he proposed the name “Mexican flu.”

You can imagine how that went over with Mexico’s ambassador to Israel. Later the statement was retracted and said to be a joke, or a slip of the tongue. Right.

At any rate, the virus is actually a combination of swine, avian, and human flus, which makes pigs far too blame-worthy by calling it swine flu.

At any rate, scientifically the virus is influenza A H1N1. The “H” refers to the hemagglutinin molecule, which is a molecule on the surface of the virus that allows it to key into its target cell.

“N” refers to neuraminidase, which is another molecule, also on the surface of the virus. In this case, it allows the virus, once replicated, to key out of the cell that it’s been “born” in.

There are 16 different types of hemagglutinins and 9 different types of neuraminidases.

H1N1 is the same virus that caused the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed 20 to 40 million people around the globe. This is, of course, a descendent virus.

The fact that the new swine flu has H1N1 molecules doesn’t make it identical to the 1918 strain, however. As indicated, it has genes from swine flu, avian flu, and human flu.

There, you now probably know far more about swine flu and its scientific ID than you really want to know. Or perhaps, in this time of outbreak, you want as much info as you can get.


How H1N1 virus is spread and how to protect yourself

Q. How do people catch swine flu?

A. Public health officials believe the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is spreading the way that the seasonal flu spreads every year - when people infected with the flu cough or sneeze and others inhale airborne droplets containing the virus. People may also be getting swine flu from touching surfaces such as doorknobs contaminated with the virus and then touching their face or mouth. Infected people can spread the flu before they have symptoms, as well as while they are sick.

Q. How can I protect myself and my family from swine flu?

A. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Also, you should get plenty of sleep, exercise, manage your stress, eat healthy food, and drink plenty of water. Avoid close interactions with people who are sick and try not to touch surfaces that could be contaminated with the virus. Avoid touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.

Q. Does hand sanitizer work if I can’t wash my hands?

A. Doctors advise using sanitizing wipes and alcohol-based gels when you do not have access to soap, water, and a sink. If you use a gel, rub your hands until it dries.

Q. What are the symptoms of swine flu?

A. They are similar to symptoms of the regular seasonal flu, and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people who have gotten the swine flu have had diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Q. What should I do if I get sick?

A. If you are sick with flu symptoms, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others. Two antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, can reduce the severity of illness from swine flu only if taken within two days of symptoms appearing.


P. M .S .U. P. S. I | TNB