Influenza

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Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You

Questions & Answers
2009 H1N1 FLU ("SWINE FLU") AND YOU

September 24, 2009 10:00 AM ET

2009 H1N1 Flu

What is 2009 H1N1 (swine flu)?
2009 H1N1 (sometimes called “swine flu”) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-personworldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization[pic] (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway.
Why is 2009 H1N1 virus sometimes called “swine flu”?
This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were verysimilar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a "quadruple reassortant" virus.

2009 H1N1 Flu inHumans
Are there human infections with 2009 H1N1 virus in the U.S.?
Yes. Human infections with 2009 H1N1 are ongoing in the United States. Most people who have become ill with this new virus have recovered without requiring medical treatment.
CDC routinely works with states to collect, compile and analyze information about influenza, and has done the same for the new H1N1 virus since thebeginning of the outbreak. This information is presented in a weekly report, called FluView.
Is 2009 H1N1 virus contagious?
The 2009 H1N1 virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human.
How does 2009 H1N1 virus spread?
Spread of 2009 H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing bypeople with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?
The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may havevomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Severe illnesses and deaths have occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.
How severe is illness associated with 2009 H1N1 flu virus?
Illness with 2009 H1N1 virus has ranged from mild to severe. While most people who have been sick have recoveredwithout needing medical treatment, hospitalizations and deaths from infection with this virus have occurred.
In seasonal flu, certain people are at “high risk” of serious complications. This includes people 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions. About 70 percent of people who have been hospitalized withthis 2009 H1N1 virus have had one or more medical conditions previously recognized as placing people at “high risk” of serious seasonal flu-related complications. This includes pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and kidney disease.
Young children are also at high risk of serious complications from 2009 H1N1, just as they are from seasonal flu. And while people 65 and older are the leastlikely to be infected with 2009 H1N1 flu, if they get sick, they are also at “high risk” of developing serious complications from their illness. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for more information about who is more likely to get flu complications that result in being hospitalized and occasionally result in death.

CDC laboratory studies have shown that no...