Is the World Health Organization prepared to deal with the pandemic?
It seems that everyone around the world can recollect a time when their home city was plagued by the flu. And recently it seems to be a fear the whole world shares.

The swine flu is the first flu pandemic of the 21st century, but we don’t know a lot about it. At the beginning of this year, word got out that a new strain of the flu virus similar to that has been found in pigs was infecting humans in Mexico. A month later, there were confirmed cases in the United States, that slowly found its way across the world. And by June 11th The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a flu pandemic, the first declared pandemic in 41 years. By June 11th over 70 countries reported new cases of the influenza virus affecting their populations.

As the pandemic continued to spread, more problem came to be. Not only did the pandemic bring about a serious illness, but the media had played a major role in the naming of this unknown virus. The media took off naming the virus things that were not even approved by the World Health Organization.

The virus started out as the “Mexican Flu” because of its origins, but for obvious reasons residents of Mexico were greatly offended. Then the unknown virus changed its name to “Swine Flu” but the pork industry took particular offense to this name as well.

Finally the World Health Organization got its hand on the pandemic, and rightfully named it. It was first titled “influenza type A (H1N1)”, but because it has spread beyond the regions of more than one country, it is now referred to as; “Pandemic (H1N1) 2009”. Even with their efforts to properly name this virus, it is still more commonly referred to as the Swine Flu.

Whatever you call it, this pandemic has spread to more than 120 countries. And in its path of destruction is has managed to claim over 700 lives, and according to the World Health Organization is unstoppable.

This is not by any means the first flu pandemic the world as ever seen, and it most certainly will not resemble the ones we have seen in the past. Each year, scientists can predict the seasonal flu and which strain will probably sweep the world, but the pandemic of the H1N1 virus is different that what we have experienced in the past.

The way a pandemic works is such; there is a sudden shift in a flu virus and is easily spread from person to person as well to different regions of the world.

In the last century we have seen three similar ways in which the flu mutated into a pandemic with major consequences. The most fatal pandemic we have experienced in the last century was the “Spanish Flu” of 1918-1919. This particular strain killed over 40 Million People worldwide. The “Asian Flu” of 1957 killed over 100,000 people, the “Hong Kong Flu” pf 1968 killed more than 700,000 people. And more recently we have also seen the “bird flu”, however this did not spread easily among humans, thus was never classified as a pandemic. Like with any other organization, the World Health Organization has learned from the past and has gotten better and better about nipping these pandemics in the bud.

But the most important thing that came out of the “bird flu” was that it prompted the World Health Organization to instruct countries to prepare for the threat of worldwide pandemic.

So what are the future predictions of the H1N1 virus? As far as the World Health Organization can tell, this virus was detected early enough that proper precautions are being taken so as to prevent further outbreak to other nations.

To ensure further containment of the virus, the World Health Organization is recommending that anti-viral drugs be given out to humans across the globe to reduce the change of more wide-spread resistance to the virus.

With the better technological advancements of the World Health Organization, the flu virus will not be easier to predict and hopefully prevent.