Archive for swine

The Agro-Industrial Roots of Swine Flu H1N1

Posted in Evolution, Influenza with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2009 by Rob Wallace

Mexico appears ground zero for an outbreak of deadly human-specific H1N1.

Of the over 1400 people that have been reportedly infected there so far, 86 have died. Short chains of transmission of the virus have also been reported in California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio, New York City, Canada and New Zealand. The virus has been identified as a new recombinant of influenza A (H1N1).

The World Health Organization has labeled the new strain potentially pandemic and the US has declared a public health emergency. Of great concern, and perhaps a marker of the seriousness of the outbreak, the deaths in Mexico, as in pandemics of eras past, appear concentrated among the young and healthy. In contrast, the mortality associated with most seasonal influenzas falls heaviest upon infants and the elderly.

Researchers have over the past several years hypothesized that a healthy and responsive immune system may explain the greater mortality among patients 20-40 years infected with highly pathogenic influenza.

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