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What Is H1N1?

Monday, 06 Jun 2011 04:34 PM

H1N1, commonly known as “swine flu” following a 2009 pandemic, is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. The symptoms of the virus present similarly in most cases.

The following points explain the H1N1 virus and its effects:

1. What is H1N1/swine flu? HIN1/swine flu is a virus spread primarily through respiratory droplets. The virus infects the respiratory tract and may result in fever, nasal secretions, cough, and loss of appetite.
2. H1N1 is a particular strain of the influenza A virus. A new strain of swine-origin H1N1 was first detected in the United States in 2009.
3. The H1N1 virus is “quadruple reassortant,” meaning that it contains two genes found in flu viruses that circulate among pigs and two other genes found in flu viruses that circulate among birds.
4. Symptoms of H1N1, similar to the symptoms of general influenza, are: fever, chills, cough, congestion, fatigue, headache, muscle or joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some patients may develop severe respiratory symptoms and require the support of a ventilator.
5. Like other types of influenza, H1N1 virus may spread through physical contact, coughing or sneezing, or through the air.
6. People experiencing other medical conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, and pregnancy are more prone to suffer from severe complications if affected by H1N1.
7. H1N1/swine flu happens rarely. There is no need to panic about the condition!

For more information on H1N1, see below:

What Is Swine Flu?

Should I Get a Flu Shot?

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