H1N1 Virus

By: Garrett Dennis

General Overview

H1N1 first came to public attention in 2009, and became a pandemic in 2010. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic in August, and worked on finding a vaccine. The H1N1strain of Influenza(also known as Swine flu, because of its relation to pigs), is a seasonal flu strain, that has most of the same effects as the seasonal flu. the virus usually affects the respiratory, gastric, and intestinal systems and worsens chronic health conditions. Although the virus originated in pigs, you cannot get it from poorly prepared meat.

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Causes + Incidence

Most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.

-The virus is indiscriminate about who it infects, as it can easily infect anyone. The Mortality rate is extremely low as H1N1 is harmless, unless the individual is suffering from other chronic problems or diseases.

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Usually, a quick test (nasopharyngeal swab sample) is done to see if the patient is infected with influenza A or B virus. Most of the tests can distinguish between A and B types. The test can be negative (no flu infection) or positive for type A and B. If the test is positive for type B, the flu is not likely to be swine flu. If it is positive for type A, the person could have a conventional flu strain or swine flu. However, the accuracy of these tests has been challenged, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not completed their comparative studies of these tests. However, a new test developed by the CDC and a commercial company reportedly can detect H1N1 reliably in about one hour

Signs and Symptoms

All types of flu have similar symptoms, with each other and with the common cold, but the flu is more severe.

Flu symptoms include:

  • A 100oF or higher fever (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea


If you have been diagnosed with the flu, you need to keep isolated, as the virus is highly contagious.
  • You can treat flu symptoms with and without medication.
  • Over-the-counter medications may relieve some symptoms but will not make you less contagious. Your doctor may give antibiotics to alleviate bacterial infection.
  • If symptom like dizziness, confusion, or difficulty breathing occur, GO TO THE HOSPITAL.

  • Getting the vaccine, and the annual seasonal flu vaccine are the only ways to prevent the onset of the virus.

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