We have other things to worry about now, obviously (MJ, anyone?), but, um, the H1N1 swine flu virus is still out there, and some scientists are still pretty concerned about it.

A new study seems to show that the 2009 A/H1N1 virus might be significantly more dangerous than we had previously thought. While regular ol' seasonal flu generally just infects cells in your upper respiratory tract, scientists have found that H1N1 can thrive deep in your lungs. That means that it's more likely to cause pneumonia. Similar characteristics in the infamous 1918 swine flu exacerbated the danger of that outbreak. So, you know, don't start sticking your fingers in other peoples' mouths and then rubbing them on your eyes again just yet.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Liza's picture
Liza says:

Well, it's hard to quibble with the suggestion that we should all be practicing good hygiene.

I read the same article, but then I happened on another one written by Vincent Racaniello, professor of microbiology at Columbia Medical Center. I think he makes a pretty persuasive argument when he writes:

"Do we really want to conclude that the new H1N1 strains is ‘more dangerous’ than we think based on tests in animal models which may or may not accurately reflect what occurs in humans? The ongoing infection of millions of humans with the new H1N1 virus seems a better source of data – and so far the results indicate that the new pandemi strain is no more dangerous than seasonal influenza."

He goes on to talk about how the virus could change, so he's not advocating taking it lightly. But he's not ready to hit the panic button yet.

posted on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 9:54am
Laurie's picture
Laurie says:

I actually just read some more encouraging news as well. From Wired Science.

"Now, two infectious disease experts from the National Institutes of Health question the idea that severe pandemics are usually preceded by a milder wave of disease. After analyzing 15 pandemics from the last 500 years, including the catastrophic influenza pandemic of 1918, they say the pattern doesn’t hold up."

This research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

I know it is only one study - but it does make me feel a little bit better.
Is anyone doing anything different this year to prepare for the flu season? I'd love to hear!

posted on Thu, 08/13/2009 - 10:31am
You do not need to know my name's picture
You do not need to know my name says:

swine flu is just a flu. People are only dieing from it because they dont take good care of themselves. So Take care of yourself and stay healthy. wash hands daily.

Do you like cheese? i do.

posted on Tue, 09/01/2009 - 11:50am
Tony 's picture
Tony says:

I agree with Liza, no time for panic, there are other things to worry about. I feel the same way about the Oil spill. Let Bp fix their own mess, Gulf states'll help out if they care enough for their communities. I live in the North East, not effecting me.

posted on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 11:02am
rocks r cool's picture
rocks r cool says:

well as we now have the vaccination it isnt as much of a problem. none-the-less we should still be wary of it because it is still out there.

posted on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 11:23am
hannah  and  camryn's picture
hannah and camryn says:

the swine flu is terribble and it is good to take vitamans to save yourself from getting the swine flu.

posted on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 8:19am
bobby's picture
bobby says:

way cool info

posted on Sun, 04/15/2012 - 1:23pm

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