Swine influenza (also known as swine flu, hog flu and pig flu) is a virus disease which causes epidemics of acute respiratory disease in pigs. The virus is around us for more than thousand years. But it has started to show its impact on birds, animals and humans heavily in the recent past. It has also infected the cold blooded ones like snake. The flu is basically transferred from one to another species e.g. a pig can be infected of a flu and the pig worker is also infected with another kind of flu then there is always a possibility that either of two can get affected by virus of each other and thus the flu get transferred from one species to another.
The swine flu was first notified by the World Health Organization in 2007. The cases of flu were noticed in United States and Spain. The flu got noticed appreciably in pigs in North America, Europe and Africa etc. Swine flu is the most commonly of H1N1 subtype but other subtypes are also present. The H3N2 virus in the pigs is thought to be introduced in pigs by humans. The most susceptible species to swine flu is pig. The flu has recently struck humans also.
The basic symptoms of swine flu are:
In humans the virus causes much serious problems. It causes severe viral pneumonia and which is fatal. Swine flu is associated with high morbidity and low mortality. A general question in the mind of people is 'Is it safe to eat pork meat and pork products with such a disease around?' The answer to the question is why not. It is not shown to be transferable through eating.
Unfortunately, there is no disease which can cure the disease completely because the influenza virus changes very quickly. The scientists are trying to develop a vaccine that can be used to protect the people form getting affected by the virus. Although WHO has suggested two types of medicines that can be useful in treatment of disease. But these medicines also have their own limitations.
According to latest news on 12th November 2009, 64000 new cases of swine flu were found in England last week. According to a survey there has been 668000 cases of swine flu since it has come to notice, in the UK alone.
The government has issued instructions to the people not to travel around the world if they have the symptoms of swine flu. The flu has also affected the hajj visit. People having swine flu are not considered well for hajj visit. If someone wants more information regarding swine flu he or she can take the help of various health organizations and communities giving information about it. Spreading the awareness about the flu is the only way to fight it out. This may not stop the flu or cure it but the awareness will surely wipe off the traces of flu from earth. A world free of flu can be formed.