AH1N1(swine flu) Return of an Influenza Pandemic
From 1918-1919 the world suffered from an Influenza virus that that wreaked worldwide havoc, this virus was known as the swine flu.
Today we face yet again another pandemic cause by this virus. Should the world health organization be prepared for this? i believe they should have.
Influenza viruses have eight genes, two of which code for virus surface proteins - hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N) - that allow the virus to enter a host cell and spread from cell to cell. There are 16 H subtypes and 9 N subtypes, and, therefore, 144 possible HN combination's. However, only three (H1N1, H2N2 and H3N2) have ever been found in influenza viruses that are fully adapted to infect humans. Other combination's, such as avian influenza H5N1, occasionally infect people, but they are bird viruses, not human viruses.
During the 1918-1919 pandemic the virus went and migrate to other living creature which shares more similarity's with humans that some may like, the swine population was infected as well with the virus causing a mutation and a new strain of the disease.
We should ask ourselves are we prepared for a new mutation of the virus, Not only did the 1918 H1N1 virus set off an explosive pandemic in which tens of millions died, during the pandemic the virus was transmitted from humans to pigs, where - as it does in people - it continues to evolve to this day.
It is known that the human immune system mounts a defense against the influenza virus's H and N proteins, primarily in the form of antibodies. But as population-wide immunity to any new variant of flu arises, the virus reacts by changing in large and small ways that make it more difficult for antibodies to recognize it. For nearly a century, then, the immune system has been engaged in a complicated pas de deux with the 1918 influenza virus and its progeny, say the NIAID authors. The partners in this dance are linked in an endless effort to take the lead from the other.
Although originally traced to Mexico, the exact physical origins of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus are unknown. Because the current strain shares common ancestry with older flu strains, it is possible that portions of the population may have partial immunity to the new pandemic virus.
Virus mutating is not something new this happens in nature as part of the natural process as humans viruses evolve, learn, adapt, this is why we have the WHO to be prepare for this contingencies to be ready in case of a new threat, In this case i think we where let down.
Are we ready for a new mutation? i ask again.