- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
More Information Than You Wish About H1N1 and H1N5
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first case of H1N1 in the USA on April 11, 2009. Since that time, the number of Americans affected by this virus has continued to rise. It is now known that the H1N1 is a mutated form of both the swine flu (H1n1) and the avian flu (H1N5).
It is now known that over 292 "Confirmed" cases of the swine flu, and or complications thereof, have been the cause of death since August. However, although most states, hospitals, physician offices are efficient in delivering the information of their "confirmed cases" of H1N1 to the proper site it is also recognized that some reports may take longer to reach the CDC than usual. This may be due to the extreme impact this flu pandemic is having on the general public. In other words, there may be the added burden of backing up an inordinate amount of data into the system. Many hospitals are beginning to practice their disaster drills should it become necessary to have patients seen outside other hospital due to extremely large volume of patients needing to be seen. There are notices in all states and their public health systems that it is imperative to everyone to receive their regularly scheduled flu vaccines.
What makes receiving a regularly scheduled influenza vaccine important?
The CDC is constantly researching and monitoring the trends of multiple viruses throughout the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) is also performing the same and similar studies to provide certainty that no virus trends escape their notice. Since the 1970’s both of these organizations have been giving out information that would assist in case of another pandemic similar to the influenza pandemic of 1918. It has always been known that the reoccurrence of such a pandemic was inevitable. It has always been at the forefront of these organizations to find and stop another pandemic from occurring.
Receiving your regularly scheduled influenza vaccine every year is one-step of this process. The CDC tracks the influenza viruses, takes the most likely virus and begins to manufacture its vaccine well ahead of the yearly flu outbreak. By September or October, the vaccines are shipped and waiting for physician offices, hospitals, public health, even private home health offices to begin their yearly campaign to encourage the public to receive their regularly scheduled influenza vaccine. All of this is public knowledge
However, there may be some things that are not public knowledge.
Let us see if we can outline a few of these things.
· On the whole, the influenza vaccine is different every year.
· The CDC always makes the public aware of exactly which viruses are present in every vaccine.
· There are usually over two, usually three different vaccines in every year’s vaccine.
· These vaccines cause your body to build up antibodies and antigens that remain in your system for the rest of your life.
· These antibodies and antigens protect you from contracting the two to three viruses that every vaccine has provided.
· That means that every year, the likelihood of you contracting, then developing complications to, and then dying from those viruses decreases exponentially.
If everyone had received every influenza vaccine every year would this have stopped the H1N1/H1N5 (swine and avian) influenza pandemic?
Unfortunately, probably not.
Although it may have decreased the mortality rate. The problem is the following:
· The influenza viruses are many and they are extremely intelligent.
· They have learned how to change themselves and their genetic makeup.
· They are extremely adept at mutation.
· The more we learn how to build up our defenses against them, the faster they learn how to attack our defenses.
That is what the CDC feels has happened to cause this pandemic.
Remember a few years ago when there was an outbreak of the avian flu that resulted in SARS? After that, there were studies being done to track certain birds, starting in the Alaska and down into the United States. If you have been monitoring the CDC website you would have read that they believed the next pandemic would be due to the avian flu or a strain similar to the avian flu.
What actually happened reads like a story from science fiction. In the late 1970’s, the CDC warned of a potentially deadly virus caused from the swine flu. Many Americans received that vaccine, but there was no swine flu outbreak that year or any subsequent year. There were murmurings of conspiracy, illegal and even unethical human testing. Though these murmurs were false, it nonetheless caused the public to view their regularly scheduled influenza vaccine with dismay and for some, even fear. Time passed, the public memory grew dim, and they began to view their regularly scheduled influenza vaccines as a matter of course.
In the early 21st Century, the CDC again began strengthening their education and warning to the public related to an impending pandemic similar to the influenza outbreak of 1918. When it finally made itself visible, even the CDC and the WHO were taken unaware. The first cases of persons infected with H1N1 were in the early part of 2009, in Mexico.
The CDC and the Who were in Mexico by March of 2009 to monitor and educate and take all necessary precautions. The news of this otherwise unsuspected strain of influenza was made public in April of 2009. Despite their vigilance, the virus “jumped” meaning it spread quickly and uncontrollably out of Mexico and into not only the states but began to enter countries all over the world. The fact that this virus has entered virtually every country in the world and continues to cause death alone or by complications related to it makes it a pandemic.
The CDC has levels of awareness that help make the public aware of the seriousness of this situation. There are only six levels. The CDC placed this influenza pandemic at level six on June 11, 2009, less than a quarter of a year after it was first made public. By the fall of 2009, the CDC made public their work had shown this virus was a mixture, a “mutation” of not only the swine but also of the avian influenza.
This year, the CDC has not had luxury of at least twelve months if not eighteen months to prepare millions of doses of influenza vaccines to combat both strains of this pandemic. In truth, the CDC has had less than six months to discover the vaccine, grow it in the specially prepared chicken eggs, extract it from those eggs and distribute the vaccine throughout the United States.
Then at the last minute, it was found that the chicken eggs used to grow the vaccine were not up to the standards of the CDC and the process was restarted from the beginning. The shipment of vaccine planned for this fall has not arrived; the next scheduled date is for November or December of 2009.
To top all of that off, there are murmurs of fear, unrest, suspicion, even conspiracy all aimed at the organizations that are actively struggling to maintain the public health at its highest level.
When one stops to analyze all that has occurred since March of 2009 and the hard work by all members of the organizations of both the Center for Disease Control and The World Health Organization it gives the feeling of protection doesn’t it? Not of some sadistic plan to overthrow not only our government but also the world but just of two organizations filled with employees who are service-oriented individuals with one goal.
They just want to help.
What is written here does not now nor does it ever take the place of your physician’s advice and services of your physician.
Consult your physician every time for all things medically related and of course, if you feel you have any of the signs or symptoms of what has been written in this hub, please contact your physician for a consultation as soon as possible.