Flu Pandemic

Swine Influenza A H1N1

Swine Influenza considered to be a world wide threat

Swine influenza A H1N1, which is also called as pig flu, swine flu and hog flu, actually refers to an influenza which is caused by the strains of the influenza virus which is called as swine influenza virus or SIV and this normally infect pigs. This is commonly seen in those pigs which are seen in places like Mexico, Japan, Europe, South America, United Kingdom, Canada, South America, Taiwan, Sweden, mid west of United States of America, Italy, Mainland China and in few parts of East Asia.

Human cases of A H1N1 Swine Influenza

WHO reported more than 275 thousand confirmed cases and at least 3 thousand deaths. There may be much many more cases than the WHO numbers indicate, because countries no longer test and report individual cases and only test people with severe illness. Flu activity continues to decline in Chile, Australia, South Africa and other regions of the Southern Hemisphere. Second wave of the virus is approaching as weather cools in the northern hemisphere.

Swine Flu Drugs

Antiviral drugs reduce the swine flu symptoms and duration of illness. They also may contribute to preventing severe disease and death. There are two classes of antiviral drugs for influenza: inhibitors of neuraminidase (oseltamivir, zanamivir) and adamantanes (amantadine, rimantadine). Tests on viruses from Mexico and the United States indicated that current new H1N1 viruses are sensitive only to neuraminidase inhibitors, but not to the other class, the adamantanes. If you are looking for reliable protection against flu, you may check Viral-Protec which boost resistance to flu and other viruses.

Swine Flu Treatment

For patients who initially present with severe illness WHO recommends treatment with oseltamivir as soon as possible. Early treatment, preferably within 2 days symptom onset, is associated with better clinical outcome. For patients with severe or deteriorating illness, treatment should be provided even if started later. Where oseltamivir is unavailable or cannot be used, the zanamivir may be given.

Swine Flu Symptoms

Danger signs:

Swine influenza vaccine

The very first doses of swine flu vaccine usable to immunize people were available in September 2009. Based on a global survey made by WHO, a maximum of 4.9 billion doses potentially could be produced in 12 months, but only if several assumptions are met. First, full global manufacturing capacity is devoted to this production. Second, production yields for influenza A (H1N1) vaccine are similar to those usually obtained for seasonal vaccines. Third, each manufacturer uses the vaccine formulation that is most "dose-sparing" (i.e. using a smaller quantity of active principle). A more conservative estimate of global capacity is at least 1 to 2 billion doses per year. The numbers of persons who might be vaccinated will not be known until it is determined whether one or two doses of the vaccine will be needed to achieve protection.

Animal cases of Swine Influenza

Swine influenza is a viral disease that can cause acute respiratory illness in pigs. This disease is because of viruses of the type A from the 'Orthomyxoviridae' family. It is a RNA virus which is enveloped with a lipid cover and has a helical 'nucleocapsid'. Etiology of swine influenza is really complex as the causative viruses are from a higher genetic variation. These are mainly into two glycoproteins which are 'hemagglutin' and 'neuramidase'. It can also be called an acute respiratory disease which comes to the swine. This disease is normally known as Pig Flu, Swine Flu and Hog Flu in the industry. The illness causes low mortality but high morbidity. The disease is a potential 'zoonosis' and can persist as a widespread infection.

Classification of swine influenza

It is a 'SPC' listed disease and is in the List D. The susceptible species are the pigs and are found to be the main host for the virus. The strains of the causative virus strains can be directly contagious to the humans and reciprocally. There is growing evidence for the interchange of the viruses between pigs and other avian and mammalian hosts, either through a course of genetic mutation or resorting.


In Europe and North America, the epidemic of swine flu occurs repeatedly in each winter season. Many outbreaks have been reported in a lot of other corners of the world, which includes South Africa, Kenya, China, India, Hong Kong, Japan, South America and Singapore

Clinical swine influenza symptoms

The morbidity rate is very high and most of the pigs in a herd will get this disease nearly simultaneously. These outbreaks will typically occur in the colder months but in some cases, the Swine Influenza remains as an endemic. Young pigs will be the ones which are more severely affected. The first signs of this disease are fever, loss of weight because of 'Anorexia', inactivity, huddling and prostration which will lead to acute weakness. The patients will also have a much heightened respiratory symptoms which include paroxysmal coughing; abdominal breathing which is irregular, sneezing, nasal and ocular discharges etc. Most of the affected pigs will recover after six days from the disease onset normally. The rate of mortality is normally about one percent but can go higher if the pigs are young. Swine Influenza can cause the outbreak of many serious respiratory illnesses which causes the mortality among the pigs. In human beings the disease is severe which can cause viral pneumonia that can be fatal.

Differential diagnosis

When the differential diagnosis of the affected is done many diseases should be considered such as, Aujeszky's disease, Enzootic pneumonia, Atrophic rhinitis and Bacterial pneumonia. Out of these bacterial pneumonia can be caused by Haemophilus or Pasteurella.

Transmission of swine influenza

The transmission of Swine influenza can be because of the direct contact with pigs. In the acute phases of this disease, high virus concentrations are found in patients' nasal secretions. Virus can be transmitted by the 'aerosols' within a short distance. This illness will be spread to new farms and areas by the transportation of carrier people or infected pigs. The causative virus is very easily spread and carried by the avian species, particularly turkeys and waterfowl. The Asian subtype of influenza mainly involves the duck to swine transmission as these two animals are kept together traditionally. In the endemic areas, the outbreaks will be seasonal and will tend to occur in early winter and late autumn as the virus will be present all through the year. Epidemics will be often very explosive, with the outbreaks occurring in most of the pig farms in an area over a very short period of time.

Risk of introduction

Swine influenza is most expected to be introduced from the importing of infected pigs. The animals which are being imported should be checked with the help of serology to find whether they are having swine influenza. The most fascinating thing is that infection can even be from humans to pigs.

Swine influenza vaccine

The finest way to face this illness is to prevent its occurrence and spreading of this disease. The first treatment which a patient should get is supportive-therapy. The infected pigs should be kept in a very dry, dust free and clean environment. The use of antibiotics is very crucial in the treatment and controlling the secondary infections which can be caused by bacteria. Expectorants are the most common treatment method for pigs and are done through the drinking water of the herd. The use of commercial vaccines has showed good results which include the reduction in nasal shedding, infection in the lung tissues, and low lung pathology when compared to the non-vaccinated pigs.