Influenza A virus subtype (H1N1)


By: Jacky Chow

1) The common and scientific name of the disease.
The common name of the disease is H1N1, and the scientific name is Influenza A virus subtype. H1N1 is the virus responsible for the 2009 flu pandemic.
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2) What causes it?
The H1N1 is commonly known as the "Swine flu" because it is a combination of human, swine and two different types of bird virus. Swine flu is a contagious disease, and officials believes that the flue spreads the same way as the seasonal flu. when anyone infected with H1N1 cough or sneeze, they releases tiny particles containing the virus in the air. When another person comes in contact with these particles or touches a surface with these particles that person can catch H1N1 swine flu.


3) What are the symptoms? How long do they last? Is it deadly?
There are several symptoms that will appear when a person is infected with H1N1:

  • sore throat
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • fatigue

Most of the symptoms of the swine flu is not deadly, but if the patient is not treated properly, the swine flu can lead to more serious complications including pneumonia and respiratory failure. Swine flu can also worsen the severity of chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma. Other serious symptoms such as abdominal pain and dizziness appear can also be deadly without medical treatment.

4) Can it be cured? If so, how? If not, is there any way that we can at least treat it?

How is Swine Flu treated?
Swine flu could be treated by some of the anti-viral drugs that are used to treat seasonal flu. Tamiflu and Relenza appears to be the must effective drug against the H1N1 virus. These drugs cannot cure the victim, but they can shorten the duration and lessen the severity of the virus.

Swine Flu Vaccine
There are two types of vaccine that could be treated against Swine Flu: dead virus particle (flu shots) or a weakened form fo the virys (flu nasal spray vaccine). These vaccine were made the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine.
Picture of zanamivir (Relenza) Zanamivir (Relenza) has been reported to help prevent or reduce the effects of swine flu. Photo courtesy of the CDC
Picture of zanamivir (Relenza) Zanamivir (Relenza) has been reported to help prevent or reduce the effects of swine flu. Photo courtesy of the CDC
Picture of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is an antiviral agent that may prevent or reduce influenza A and B symptoms. Photo courtesy of the CDC
Picture of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is an antiviral agent that may prevent or reduce influenza A and B symptoms. Photo courtesy of the CDC








How to reduce chances from catching Swine Flu:

  • always wash your hands throughout the day. Remember to use soap and water or use any disinfectant/ alcohol based sanitizer.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This could pass the virus to these organs if your hands have the H1N1 virus on it.
  • avoid people who seems to be sick, e.g. runny nose, constant coughing, fever etc.
  • apply the vaccine if available (ask doctor first)


Read the detailed diagram below of how the Swine Flu formed or watch the YouTube video at the bottom for more information on Swine Flu and the vaccine.

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Bibliography:

WebMD (2009 May). H1N1 Flu Virus (Swine flu): Symptoms, Causes, Tests, and Treatments. Retrieved on March, 22, 2010 from
http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/h1n1-flu-virus-swine-flu

MayoClinic (2009 September). Swine flu: Treatments and drugs - MayoClinic.com. Retrieved on March 22, 2010 from
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/swine-flu/DS01144/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

MedicineNet (2010 March). H1N1 Swine Flu Symptoms, Treatment, Pandemic News, Vaccine and Transmission by MedicineNet.com. Retrieved on March 22, 2010 from
http://www.medicinenet.com/swine_flu/page12.htm

www.youtube.com