Influenza Pandemic 2009

Topics: Influenza, Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, Pandemic Pages: 6 (2070 words) Published: January 28, 2013
The contagious viral infection that emerged in 2009 was unexpected and sent shockwaves across the globe as it came many years after the worldwide flu pandemics occurring in 1918, 1957, and 1986. This new pandemic spiraled out of control unexpectedly causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to call it the first pandemic of the 21st century, due to many outbreaks across the globe (Bartolotti, R. 2012). The objective of this paper is to focus on the information and to clearly establish all measures of the outbreak, pathogenesis, epidemiology, response, and preparedness.

The original influenza A (H1N1) is a disease that causes harsh symptoms in the respiratory area. It is a virus that is very rare in humans, however, regularly causes outbreaks in pigs. Influenza is predominantly a respiratory virus that causes both upper and lower-respiratory symptoms (National Institute, 2012). Influenza symptoms include coughing, and breathing problems, sore throat, runny rose and congestion. The first case of H1N1 influenza was publicized in the United States on April 15th, 2009. It was first spotted in California and Texas, but soon managed to spread across the globe. During this time period, an outbreak of the disease was also present in Mexico. The H1N1 Influenza pandemic occurred in two waves; the first wave appeared in the spring season, and the second wave took place in the fall of 2009. A great amount of citizens including children, young adults, and pregnant women were severely affected by the virus, as compared to the typical influenza season (Colon, R. 2012 p9). The spread of the H1N1 virus mainly occurs similarly to how normal seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses generally spread through physical contact between two people. A common example would be through sneezing, coughing, or being in the presence of someone with influenza. Furthermore, touching an object that has been in the presence of a flu virus is quite dangerous if there is no immediate sanitation of the hands. If there is contact with your mouth, or nose you are more likely to get infected (Centers for disease control, and prevention, 2009). However, the only way you can be almost definite that the virus will never show up in your immune system would be getting infected at least once. This will cause your body to strengthen its immune system so that it is more familiar and alert with the virus, so next time it tires to get in your system, it can fight it off. However, there are particular cases where some individuals lack a strong immune system therefore, it is more likely that they will get infected by the same virus again. The H1N1 Influenza pandemic of 2009 is a simple reminder of how unpredictable the nature of the influenza virus really is (Kasowski, E. 2011). Influenza, which is commonly referred to as the flu, is a severe respiratory infection that can be contracted due to physical contact. Influenza A and B are the basis of two main genetic types which are further identified. Influenza A strains consist of two important proteins that are responsible for virulence: “Hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N)” (Bartolotti, R. 2012 p4). Humans can become severely ill when infected with the influenza viruses that are most commonly found circulating in animals. According to Bartolotti (2012), animal sources definitely hold the biggest threat towards humans, and they include; avian influenza virus subtypes H5N1, and H9N2 commonly known as the “bird flu”. The bird flu is mainly caused by viruses that circulate in wild animals, as well as swine influenza virus subtypes H1N1 and H3N2 (Bartolotti, R. 2012 p5). Prior to the 2009 pandemic, The World Health Organization predicted that the next pandemic would be caused by the Influenza A subtype, which was said to be most likely from “avian origin” (World Heath, O. 2012). Furthermore it was also predicted that majority of the population wouldn’t be able to resist the disease, in terms of immunology and how strong...
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