Swine flu viruses don't normally infect humans, but human infections with swine influenza do occur. Flu pandemics are among the most frequently occurring pandemics in the world. Swine flu is a type A influenza virus and spreads from person to person by coughing and sneezing, and by coming into contact with infected areas (such as door handles, telephones, keyboards).

Pandemic flus -- like the 1918 flu and outbreaks in 1957 and 1968 -- often strike young, healthy people the hardest. Pandemic disease experts are preparing for a possible second wave of the swine flu. In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history. There have been about three influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. Influenza pandemics occur when a new strain of the influenza virus is transmitted to humans from another animal species. Three influenza pandemics occurred in the 20th century and killed tens of millions of people, with each of these pandemics being caused by the appearance of a new strain of the virus in humans. When it first killed humans in Asia in the 1990s, a deadly avian strain of H5N1 posed a great risk for a new influenza pandemic; however, this virus did not mutate to spread easily between people.

Influenza pandemics must be taken very seriously because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world. Influenza is highly contagious, and it's one of the most dangerous types of common viral infection. Influenza, often referred to as simply the flu, is ultimately a viral infection.

Swine influenza viruses have the ability to bind both types of sialic acid receptors. Swine Influenza is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A H1N1 influenza virus. Swine flu can be fatal to those who are very young, old, and who have health issues.

H1N1 viruses that descended from the 1918 strain, as well as H3N2 viruses, have now been co-circulating worldwide for 29 years and show little evidence of extinction. H1N1 is simply the scientific name for a subtype of the type A swine influenza virus that is contagious and spreading from human to human. Read the latest on H1N1 flu and vaccine distribution from the October 9th CDC briefing. On 11, June 2009, this new strain of H1N1 influenza was declared to be a global pandemic (Stage 6) by the World Health Organization after evidence of spreading in the southern hemisphere. It's thought to be a mutation (reassortment) of four known strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1: one endemic in humans, one endemic in birds, and two endemic in pigs (swine). Since 2009, most vaccine development efforts have been focused on the current pandemic influenza virus H1N1.

The United States and these international partners have led global efforts to encourage countries to heighten surveillance for outbreaks in poultry and significant numbers of deaths in migratory birds and to rapidly introduce containment measures. The occurrence, and to some extent the severity, of recurrent annual outbreaks, are driven by viral antigenic drift, with an antigenic variant virus emerging to become dominant approximately every 2 to 3 years. There were minor outbreaks around the world throughout 1918, but the real emergence didn't start until winter, when the disease broke out in force in Europe, then spread over large segments of the population in America, Europe and Africa.

In the United States alone, as many as 700,000 people are expected to die in as little as six months following the outbreak. Despite their best intentions, however, the world isn't ready for such a viral outbreak. If the outbreak dies out quickly and this turns out not to be the next global pandemic then we can be sure another strain will try to be at some point in the future.

These novel strains are unaffected by any immunity people may have to older strains of human influenza and can therefore spread extremely rapidly and infect very large numbers of people. Often, these new strains result from the spread of an existing flu virus to humans from other animal species. Each subtype virus has mutated into a variety of strains with differing pathogenic profiles; some pathogenic to one species but not others, some pathogenic to multiple species. Any one of them can combine with each other or with different variant genotypes within its own subtype creating new variants, any one of which could become a pandemic strain.

Deaths from H1N1 flu is frequently reported. Because statistics on pediatric flu deaths had not been collected previously, it is unknown if the 2003–2004 season witnessed a significant change in mortality patterns. The worrisome new virus — which combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way researchers have not seen before. The pandemic viruses of 1957 and 1968 were milder in comparison to the 1918 virus, and caused fewer deaths.

Tamiflu Facts: * the trade name for Tamiflu is oseltamivir phosphate, unlike other antiviral flu medications, such as Flumadine and Symmetrel, Tamiflu is effective against both type A and B strains of flu. Tamiflu helps to reduce your time with flu symptoms. Tamiflu doesn’t decrease mortality from flu but lessens the severity of symptoms. Tamiflu is not recommended for pregnant women.

Symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical human influenza-like symptoms (e. Symptoms of this flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine are looking for healthy adults to test a new swine flu vaccine mixed with an ingredient that could boost people’s immune response. Modern medicine still can't cure the influenza virus, although it can treat the symptoms and often preserve life in cases that would have defeated the medical establishment of 1918. Additional studies are needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of these medicines. Modern medicine gives us no immunity from a pandemic flu. That means that one person might like alternative medicine, while another might not. I am still convinced that by using the most powerful natural anti-virals, people can still overcome the effects (not all the symptoms) of this dreaded flu virus.

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Author's Bio: 

Steve is a naturopath, researcher, author and health consultant in Florida. He shares his knowledge of herbs, vitamins and supplements, helping many people who were not able to find relief from "traditional" pharmaceutical treatment.
His website, http://www.natural-cures-remedies.com is loaded with helpful information about herbs, vitamins, drug interactions, parasites and much more. Steve wrote the eBook, “FIRE Your Doctor and Get Well.” Sign up for the FREE Newsletter at: http://natural-cure-remedies.blogspot.com/