Swine Influenza is a respiratory disease that is carried by and infects pigs. Swine flu is type A influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pigs. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.
Type A influenzas:
Swine influenzas do not generally infect humans, however infections crossing to humans from infected pigs can occur. Furthermore, it is known that human-human transmission of swine influenza can occur.
Flu viruses from an animal source (such as bird or pigs) have the potential to cause pandemics because they are generally so different from human viruses that people have little or no immunity to them. Animal flu viruses can make people sick when the perticular viral strain that typically infects only animals mutates and is then able to be transmitted to humans.
How people are infected with swine flu:
- Human infection with swine flu viruses are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns.
- Individals may also contract swine influenza from another person who is infected with the virus.
Current Swine infection statistics:
- December 2005 through February 2009, a total of 12 human infections with swine influenza were reported from 10 states in the United States.
- Since March 2009, a number of confirmed human cases of a new strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in California, Texas, and Mexico have been identified.
- Laboratories in Canada and the United States confirmed that large outbreaks of unusual respiratory illnesses in Mexico are caused by swine flu viruses closely related to those that infected eight people in California and Texas.
Symptoms of swine flu in humans:
- similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza
- lack of appetite
- runny nose
- sore throat
Antiviral drugs therapy
Swine Influenza antiviral drug resistance:
- The most recent seven swine flu viruses isolated from humans are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine.
- The CDC currently recommends oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment of swine influenza infection
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.2009. Swine Flu. Retrived April 25, 2009 from http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/