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Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in blog, Preventive Medicine | 0 comments

Fighting Swine Flu

Fighting Swine Flu

 

Swine flu vaccines available in the market today are not only effective against the disease but at the same time have only minor side effects such as soreness and mild headaches

Swine flu virus was first detected in the US when an outbreak occurred in 2009 but the original viral strain was detected way back in the 1930’s in pigs. Since then, cross-species transmissions of the disease (humans-to-pigs and pigs-to-humans) have been happening over time. Swine flu virus is a kind of influenza that mainly affected the respiratory tract of pigs. It went through a re-assortment process in which it swapped genes from both humans and pigs and later emerged as an entirely different virus that turned out to be a pandemic. It is known to have affected the American population in 1976 and the world in 2009.

Back in 2009, when the vaccinations hit the market, the public viewed them with prejudice because of the National Influenza Immunization Program founded by the US government in 1976 which came up with vaccinations against a swine flu outbreak that happened then. Allegedly, the vaccination that came out then caused Guillain-Barre syndrome which is a deadly neurological condition that can lead to paralysis of the body and even death. The United States Federal government had to pay millions in compensation to the victims then.

The good news however is that the vaccinations available in the market today are not only effective against the disease but at the same time have only minor side effects such as soreness and mild headaches. Visit your nearest Apollo clinic to get a vaccination done to protect yourself against swine flu.

There are two types of vaccines available in the market for swine flu infection:

  • TIV – This is usually an injection that contains an inactivated influenza virus that will help create powerful antibodies when injected which in turn make a person immune to the disease.
  • LAIV – This vaccine is usually administered as a nasal spray which contains a weakened form of the H1N1 virus strain that is usually developed from chicken eggs. This weakened virus enters the blood stream creating immunity as the modified virus will not be strong enough to cause a disease.

The recent outbreak of swine flu all over the world, especially in India, is suspected to have come from a strain of virus that is probably not as deadly as the virus that caused the 2009 outbreak. This should hardly be surprising because the H1N1 strain managed to reach 200 countries in all the continents except Antarctica during the 2009-10 flu seasons. The situation indeed is dangerous as many have already succumbed to the disease.

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