Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Influenza A: H1N1..

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6 in response to the ongoing global spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. A Phase 6 designation indicates that a global pandemic is underway. More than 70 countries are now reporting cases of human infection with novel H1N1 flu. This number has been increasing over the past few weeks, but many of the cases reportedly had links to travel or were localized outbreaks without community spread. The WHO designation of a pandemic alert Phase 6 reflects the fact that there are now ongoing community level outbreaks in multiple parts of world. WHO’s decision to raise the pandemic alert level to Phase 6 is a reflection of the spread of the virus, not the severity of illness caused by the virus.

What is the H1N1???

Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, also known as A(H1N1), is a subtype of influenzavirus A and the most common cause of influenza (flu) in humans. Some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans and cause a small fraction of all influenza-like illness and a large fraction of all seasonal influenza. H1N1 strains caused roughly half of all human flu infections in 2006.[1] Other strains of H1N1 are endemic in pigs (swine influenza) and in birds (avian influenza).


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