Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Fever - A Possible Pandemic?

The global scare about Swine Fever has been keeping people on their toes, in an attempt to protect themselves and their loved ones. Every news channel is coming up with updates on this possible pandemic, and to me the whole fiasco resembles the SARS scare, not too long ago.

While Swine Fever shows normal flu symproms, there have been usualy symproms including diarrhoea and vomiting. Many recent travelers to affected countries tend to attribute symptoms to profound jetlag, and this had led airport authorities in several countries to quarantine inbound travelers who show a raised body temperature.

The virus responsible for the Swine Fever outbreak is a flu virus that primarily infects pigs, and when it spreads to humans, which is rare, it is via an infected pig. The bad news is that these viruses, like most influenza causing viruses, mutate quickly. The original outbreak was caused by a H1N1 strain of influenza type A virus, and having modified its surface structure and DNA makeup, it has now incorporated genetic material from virus strains that can cause illness in humans, birds as well as swine. This kind of inter-special crossinfecting traits help the virus to spread across species thereby wideing its exposure range.

Although there is no vaccine currently, several agencies have been contracted to develop one. There have been reports that recommend using facemasks, though no corroboration that this is effective has been offered my any of the Health Ministries. It is evident that facemasks do not offer adequate protection.

The best approach is to limit travelling to areas that have established cases of Swine Fever. Or at the very least keep tabs on symptoms if one is returning from these countries.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kick Start

Having been a regular to the blogging arena, I have been thinking about using niche blogs to get my ideas out there. This blog will be about interesting news I gather, opinion pieces, reviews about top Internet brands and names, and micellany that I think are news worthy. Feel free to share your views on the content of this blog. Post comments and participate to make this a two way forum.