Friday, June 12, 2009

Swine Flu Pandemic Has Started

photo by Eneas

The swine flu has now been declared a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) officials. A pandemic is any epidemic or infection that spreads through a large population ("pan" = all, "demos" = people). This is the first flu pandemic since the Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968 , when an estimated 1 million people died worldwide. Although the swine flu virus is rapidly spreading, it doesn't mean that the virus itself is more lethal or virulent; it's actually not much more severe than the seasonal flu, but the main difference is that since previous exposure to the virus has not occurred, we have little to no preexisting immunity to the virus and no vaccines to effectively combat infection. The pandemic declaration, however, will definitely speed the production of a swine flu vaccine.

1 comment:

  1. I was afraid of that! :( I'm pretty (morbidly?) curious about how the flu will turn out in ~6months or so; that's when the 1918, and others of the same subtype ramped up. Er, I sent an email to you (just now, hehe); right?

    Sign up for Facebook! That's where I refound a bunch of other people. Hope everything's great with you :)