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Saturday, July 4, 2009

The A(H1N1) or Swine Influenza Virus Pandemic

Influenza A(H1N1) virus is a subtype of influenzavirus A and the most common cause of influenza (flu) in humans. Some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans and cause a small fraction of all influenza-like illness and a large fraction of all seasonal influenza. H1N1 strains caused roughly half of all human flu infections in 2006. Other strains of H1N1 are endemic in pigs (swine influenza) and in birds (avian influenza).
In June 2009, WHO declared that flu due to a new strain of swine-origin H1N1 was responsible for the 2009 flu pandemic. This strain is commonly called "swine flu" by the public media.



Swine influenza (also called swine flu, hog flu and pig flu) is an infection of a host animal by any one of several specific types of swine influenza virus. In 2009 the media labeled as "swine flu" flu caused by 2009's new strain of swine-origin A/H1N1 pandemic virus just as it had earlier dubbed as "avian flu" flu caused by the recent Asian-linage HPAI (High Pathogenic Avian Influenza) H5N1 strain that is still endemic in many wild bird species in several countries.
A swine influenza virus (SIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is usually hosted by (is endemic in) pigs. As of 2009, the known SIV strains are the influenza C virus and the subtypes of the influenza A virus known as H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3. Swine influenza is common in pigs in the United States (particularly in the midwest and occasionally in other states), Mexico, Canada, South America, Europe (including the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Italy), Kenya, and eastern Asia (namely China, Taiwan, and Japan).
Transmission of swine influenza virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always cause human influenza, often only resulting in the production of antibodies in the blood. The meat of the animal poses no risk of transmitting the virus when properly cooked. If transmission does cause human influenza, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People who work with pigs, especially people with intense exposures, are at increased risk of catching swine flu. In the mid-20th century, identification of influenza subtypes became possible, which allows accurate diagnosis of transmission to humans. Since then, fifty confirmed transmissions have been recorded. Rarely, these strains of swine flu can pass from human to human. In humans, the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. Pigs can also become infected with human influenza, and this appears to have happened during the 1918 flu pandemic.
The 2009 swine flu outbreak in humans is due to a new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that contains genes closely related to swine influenza. The origin of this new strain is unknown. However, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reports that this strain has not been isolated in pigs. This strain can be transmitted from human to human, and causes the normal symptoms of influenza.




Laboratory-confirmed human cases by country
Country

Cases Deaths
WHO total 89,921 382
ECDC total 90,852 384
Reports Total 92,773 453





United States 30,916 186
Mexico 10,894 119
Argentina 2,800 52
Canada 8,971 33
Chile 8,160 19
Australia 5,254 10
Thailand 1,710 6
United Kingdom 7,447 4
Uruguay 195 4
New Zealand 945 3
Costa Rica 277 3
Guatemala 262 2
Dominican Republic 108 2
Colombia 101 2
Philippines 1,709 1
China 960 1
Spain 776 1
Brazil 756 1
El Salvador 276 1
Honduras 123 1(1)
Paraguay 106 1
Brunei 101 1




Japan 1,517 0
Singapore 969 0
Hong Kong 901 0
Peru 811 0
Israel 577 0
Germany 505 0
Panama 417 0
France 333 0
Malaysia 326 0
Bolivia 319 0
Nicaragua 310 0
South Korea 253 0
Venezuela 206 0
Vietnam 181 0
Ecuador 163 0
Netherlands 135 0
Italy 130 0
India 113 0 (0)
Greece 109 0
Saudi Arabia 89 0
Cuba 85 0
Cyprus 83 0
Sweden 76 0
Switzerland 72 0
Taiwan 72 0
Egypt 67 0
Denmark 63 0
Trinidad and Tobago 59 0
Ireland 51 0

Palestinian Territories 51 0
Belgium 49 0
Lebanon 47 0
Kuwait 46 0
Finland 43 0
Macau 42 0
Norway 41 0
Turkey 40 0
Romania 41 0
Portugal 33 0
Jamaica 32 0
Jordan 22 0
Poland 22 0
Indonesia 20 0
Netherlands Antilles 20 0
Fiji 19 0
Slovakia 18 0
Sri Lanka 18 0
Qatar 17 0
Morocco 17 0
Bangladesh 16 0
Austria 16 0
Bahrain 15 0
Czech Republic 15 0
Serbia 15 0
Cayman Islands 14 0
Suriname 14 0
Estonia 13 0
Bulgaria 13 0
Barbados 12 0
Kenya 12 0
South Africa 12 0
Hungary 12 0
Iraq 11 0
Jersey 11 0
Malta 11 0
Montenegro 10 0
United Arab Emirates 8 0
Cambodia 7 0
Slovenia 7 0
Yemen 7 0
Bahamas 6 0
Luxembourg 6 0
Algeria 5 0
Guernsey 5 0
Nepal 5 0
Iceland 4 0
Cape Verde 3 0
Ethiopia 3 0
Laos 3 0
Lithuania 3 0
Oman 3 0
Russia 3 0
Tunisia 3 0
Antigua and Barbuda 2 0
British Virgin Islands 2 0
Côte d'Ivoire 2 0
Isle of Man 2 0
Samoa 2 0
Vanuatu 2 0
Bermuda 1 0
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 0
Croatia 1 0
Dominica 1 0
Guam 1 0
Iran 1 0
Latvia 1 0
Mauritius 1 0
Monaco 1 0
Myanmar 1 0
Papua New Guinea 1 0
Palau 1 0
St. Lucia 1 0
Solomon Islands 1 0
Uganda 1 0
Ukraine 1 0




Number of countries, etc., with confirmed cases: 127
# Includes Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.
## Includes French Polynesia, Martinique and New Caledonia.
### Includes Curaçao, St. Maarten and Bonaire.