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Abstract

SWINE-ORIGIN INFLUENZA A (H1N1) VIRUS: AS PANDEMIC INFECTION

Suresh Rewar*

ABSTRACT

Flu viruses have mainly affected humans, birds and pigs worldwide. Influenza A viruses is highly infectious respiratory pathogens that can infect many species. The swine flu H1N1 reassorted subtype caused the first global pandemic in last 40 years, resulting in substantial illness, hospitalizations of millions of peoples and thousands of deaths throughout the world. There is no direct evidence that the reassortment events culminating in the 1918, 1957 or 1968 pandemic influenza viruses originated from pigs. Genetic reassortment among avian, human and/or swine influenza virus gene segments has occurred in pigs and some novel reassortant swine viruses have been transmitted to humans. The WHO declared the H1N1 pandemic on June 11, 2009, after more than 70 countries reported 30000 cases of H1N1 infection. Pandemic (H1N1) influenza most commonly causes a self-limited illness; however, significant morbidity and mortality were reported in the young, the obese and in pregnant women. The CDC recommends real time PCR as the method of choice for diagnosing H1N1. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or Zanamivir (Relenza) for the treatment. The drugs of choice for treatment and prophylaxis of pandemic (H1N1) influenza are the neuraminidase inhibitors, Oseltamivir and Zanamivir. In this review, a brief overview on swine flu is presented highlighting the characteristics of the causative virus, the disease and its public health consequences, advances made in its diagnosis, vaccine and control to be adapted in the wake of an outbreak.

Keywords: H1N1 influenza, Virology, swine influenza in humans, diagnosis, vaccine.


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