A Brief Overview of Swine Flu and Its Characteristics, Prevention, and Treatment

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  • Topic: Influenza, 2009 flu pandemic, Influenza A virus subtype H1N1
  • Pages : 3 (799 words )
  • Download(s) : 271
  • Published : October 23, 2012
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A Brief Overview of Swine Flu and Its Characteristics, Prevention, and Treatment

Several years ago, the pandemic H1N1/09 virus, better known as “swine flu” plagued the world. People may wonder why this still matters today, but when looked at in retrospect, it can be seen that the 2009 outbreak of swine flu can we used as a great learning experience. Evans, Cauchemez, and Hayden (2009) suggest that with the study of swine flu, we can study these so called novel diseases, and prime the population for the disease with prepandemic immunization. Thus it is ideal to study swine flu as it is similar in structure to other influenza strains. This paper investigates the characteristics, prevention, and treatment of swine flu.

While most organisms can be readily organized in the taxonomic system with roots in Carolus Linnaeus’ work, viruses like swine flu, sadly can not. Not only that, but there are multiple other systems for the classification of viruses. In fact most people recognize the classification of viruses to be the responsibility of International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (Mayo and Horzinek 1998). And to cause more controversy, there exists other classification systems including the Baltimore classification, Holmes classification, and the LHT System of Virus Classification. But in the end, no matter which classification system is used, the virus swine flu does not fit into Linnaeus’ taxonomic system.

Swine flu as is with pretty much all viruses is one of the smallest organisms at around 0.1 microns in diameter. The shape of swine is not only different among different strains, but the shape is also sometimes changing, mutating to suit its own needs. At times it is spherical in shape, while at others it is filamentous in shape.

Swine flu is transmitted the same way that the seasonal flu is transmitted. The virus is generally transmitted by droplets from coughs and sneezes or touching the surface or hand of someone infected and then touching their...
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