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article imageStudy Says Swine Flu Resembles Feared 1918 Flu

By Carol Forsloff     Jul 15, 2009 in Health
A new study has found the new H1N1 influenza virus looks very similar to the strain of flu that caused the 1918 flu pandemic. Medical researchers have also determined it has a greater ability to infect lungs than other flu viruses, making it dangerous.
Those conducting the study maintain there is a higher level potential of pneumonia with the present H1N1 than the seasonal flu. They have also found those who survived the pandemic in 1918 also had an extra immune protection against the virus. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, who led the study,
conducted research on ferrets and monkeys in order to make some of the determinations, although facets of research performed elsewhere along with the history of the 1918 influenza pandemic were also utilized as information to develop conclusions.
So far the new version of the swine flu has been estimated to have infected more than a million people, although most moderately. Kawaoka declares, however, this does not mean it will remain that way nor is it like the seasonal flu.
Across the world people have expressed concern. From as remote an area as Fiji eight cases of the virus were reported Tuesday, bringing the total numbers there to 73. The country’s Ministry of Health has launched a nationwide effort to try to stop the spread of the H1N1 flu virus. They are worried about the number of travelers that pass daily through their airports. At a meeting about the crisis in Fiji, members there heard officials state how the World Health Organization has said the swine flu is unstoppable, and that a vaccine is months away. People also heard how 20 Australians have died from the swine flu this season.
According to the CDC cases of human infection the new strain of swine flu, called novel H1N1 influenza virus, was first confirmed in the United States in Guadalupe, Texas and in Southern California. Spread of the disease became rapid from that instance as more and more states confirmed cases of the illness.
Updates of cases in the U.S. can be found at this site.
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