H1N1 Mexican influenza?
What is the new
Updated 11 June 2009
What is the new influenza A(H1N1)?
_This is a new influenza A(H1N1) virus that has never before
circulated among humans.
This virus is not related to previous or current human seasonal
How do people become infected with the virus?
_The virus is spread from person-to-person.
It is transmitted as
easily as the normal seasonal flu and can be passed to other
people by exposure to infected droplets expelled by coughing or
sneezing that can be inhaled, or that can contaminate hands or
_To prevent spread, people who are ill should cover their mouth
and nose when coughing or sneezing, stay home when they are
unwell, clean their hands regularly, and keep some distance from
healthy people, as much as possible.
_There are no known instances of people getting infected by
exposure to pigs or other animals.
_The place of origin of the virus is unknown.
What are the signs and symptoms of infection?
_Signs of influenza A(H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough,
headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and
sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea.
Why are we so worried about this flu when hundreds of thousands
die every year from seasonal epidemics?
_Seasonal influenza occurs every year and the viruses change each
year - but many people have some immunity to the circulating
virus which helps limit infections.
Some countries also use
seasonal influenza vaccines to reduce illness and deaths.
_But influenza A(H1N1) is a new virus and one to which most
people have no or little immunity and, therefore, this virus
could cause more infections than are seen with seasonal flu.
is working closely with manufacturers to expedite the
development of a safe and effective vaccine but it will be some
months before it is available.
_The new influenza A(H1N1) appears to be as contagious as
seasonal influenza, and is spreading fast particularly among
young people (from ages 10 to 45).
The severity of the disease
ranges from very mild symptoms to severe illnesses that can
result in death.
The majority of people who contract the virus
experience the milder disease and recover without antiviral
treatment or medical care.
Of the more serious cases, more than
half of hospitalized people had underlying health conditions or
weak immune systems.
Most people experience mild illness and recover at home.
should someone seek medical care?
_One person should seek medical care if they experience shortness
of breath or difficulty breathing, or if a fever continues more
than three days.
For parents with a young child who is ill, seek
medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing,
continuing fever or convulsions (seizures).
_Supportive care at home - resting, drinking plenty of fluids and
using a pain reliever for aches - is adequate for recovery in
(A non-aspirin pain reliever should be used by
children and young adults because of the risk of Reye's
1 Influenza viruses are grouped into three types,
designated A, B, and C. Influenza A and B viruses are of concern
for human health.
Only influenza A
viruses can cause pandemics.
2 The H subtypes are epidemiologically most important, as
they govern the ability of the virus to bind to and enter cells,
where multiplication of the virus then occurs.
The N subtypes
govern the release of newly formed virus from the cells
Cagayan de Oro, Indahag, June 21 2009