H1N1 Myths

H1N1 (swine flu) was initially detected in mid April of 2009 in people in the U.S. It was called swine flu because a number of the virus’ genes were similar to the virus which is normally found in pigs. As further studies progressed, it showed that it was, after all, very different from those found in pigs in North America. It is called a “quadruple reassortant virus” because it is linked to bird and human genes and its virus’ genes are similar to the virus which is found in pigs in Europe and Asia. As of October 11, 2009, the World Health Organization was able to record 4,735 deaths from different countries because of swine flu.

1.Some people believe that H1N1 is worse than seasonal flu. It isn’t. In the U.S., only one percent from all those infected with the virus die. This is around 300 people. There are thirty six thousand Americans who die annually because of the seasonal flu. Authorities were only worried because H1N1 has a strain which was never seen before.

2.Healthy people need not worry about getting the swine flu. This is wrong. It is just like seasonal flu because it can affect anyone. It only happens that those people with underlying health conditions are more prone to get the virus compared to healthy people.

3.Some people believe that the swine flue vaccine will only give them the flu. This is not possible because the virus found on the flu shot was killed already. Some people mistakes the common fever experienced as the flu itself. Fever experienced after the vaccine is actually the result of the body’s immune system fighting off a foreign substance. Also, some people think that the common cold they have is already the flu. What many people aren’t aware of is that flu season happens at the same time as cold season.

4.Some people believe that vaccines are harmful. The best way get immunity to the virus is by direct contact. This isn’t the right way to get immunity. This is in fact very dangerous. While you believe that you can get immunity when you are in direct contact with the virus itself, you are actually most likely to get the disease yourself rather than being healed.

5.People should stop eating pork since the virus is linked to that of the pigs’. This is absolutely wrong. The spread of the virus is only between humans. It comes from a sick person to a host’s mucous membranes such as the eyes, mouth and nose. There have been no proof yet that the virus is passed from a pig to a person.

These are some of the myths being tossed around regarding the swine flu virus. One good way to avoid this is through getting oneself educated. There are agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and hospitals which are active in promoting information about the H1N1. In order to be better informed and protected, it is best that these health authorities are contacted.