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.
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.
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.