Nov
25
2009

Humanity in the Hands of the H1N1

Almost every day for the past 4 weeks or so, I am asking myself, “What is the future of H1N1 going to be like?” Mostly everyone that I know may seem to be somewhat concerned. But most people don’t panic about this kind of situation. In fact, I have observed that certain people are outraged when it is suggested that this virus should be taken seriously. In recent weeks, an U.S outbreak of the H1N1 flu has occurred; it is caused by a new strain of influenza virus that contains a combination of swine, avian, and human influenza virus genes.
The H1N1 has spread in 43 states and some researchers say that the H1N1 can spread as much as the regular seasonal flu. Nationally, visits to doctors for influenza-like-illness declined from last week, but it’s still higher than expected for this time of year. Flu-related hospitalizations and deaths have declined slightly, but are still very high nation-wide compared to what is expected for this time of year. If the H1N1 virus has become a pandemic as many scientists expected it would. It will kill millions of people, but it will also have an enormous economic impact and potentially cause social and political changes that are impossible to guess.
Last week when I was reading from an article my teacher gave me, it said that the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the influenza pandemic alert to phase six (wide spread human infection), indicating the world is now at the beginning of the 2009 influenza pandemic. Although the WHO considers the overall severity of the pandemic to be moderate, the organization is concerned about the pattern of serious cases and deaths, particularly among young, healthy adults. Additionally health experts are closely watching the southern hemisphere to see how the strain affects the traditional flu season. Many scientists suggested that the combination of the seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus could create a more severe combination of the flu. Meaning the H1N1 may be getting worst and that this may not be the end of the H1N1 virus.
I would hope that the Center for Disease Control and WHO are equally engaged with countries across the globe to accomplish the same thing, to help cure the H1N1 quickly and safely, because for whatever the future of H1N1 virus has in store, one thing is certain: We will be judged not just by how well we were prepared but also by what we did to prepare the H1N1.
Website to find more information: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/whatsnew.htm

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