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Behind the Virus: 10 Facts About H1N1

There are many different strains of flu and each year the flu shot is redeveloped to guard the population against the strains that are most likely to spread during the upcoming flu season. One of these strains is H1N1 or Swine flu, which caused a pandemic in 2009.The flu is typically more common in the fall and winter months and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu is most common during December through February. The best method for preventing the virus is the flu shot, although it is not designed to combat each individual strain of the flu.

10 Facts about H1N1

  1. The H1N1 virus was first isolated from a pig in 1930, according to a report from CNN.
  2. The CDC estimates that 151,700 to 575,900 people were killed by H1N1 during the pandemic in 2009.
  3. More than half of H1N1 related deaths in 2009 occurred in Africa and Southeastern Asia.
  4. The CDC also says that people under the age of 65 were more greatly affected by H1N1 than they had been by other strains of the flu virus.
  5. In 1976, 13 soldiers in Fort Dix, New Jersey became infected with Swine flu, resulting in one fatality.
  6. It is unlikely for H1N1 to be passed from person to person, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  7. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, most people who contract the virus will be able to fight it off on their own.
  8. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied the impact that H1N1 would have on the country after the initial 2009 outbreak, estimating that it would have no more of an effect than other strains.
  9. The NIH studied the impact of H1N1 vaccinations among children and reported that efficient vaccination prevented the virus from being spread to 100 million more individuals.
  10. The H1N1 virus is constantly changing since pigs can contract viruses from birds and humans.

These 10 facts about H1N1 provide the public with insight into what the virus is, how it works, and how it is able to spread. These 10 facts about H1N1 also provide important information about the work that scientists are doing to learn more about it and prevent outbreaks.

Helen Barker

Photo: Flickr