Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Swine Flu Virus Redux

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/701738

Though they showed no severe symptoms and have recovered since, the two recent cases of Swine Flu should incite alarm. Both victims had no contact with pigs yet the virus infected them-- suggesting, as the article reports, that the virus can now be transmitted from human to human. Furthermore, the CDC reports how the current influenza vaccine and antiviral treatments proved useless against the swine viruses. These development provide current evidence of virus' resilient survival traits as they advance their biological capabilities. We touched on this topic of virus formidability briefly in class on Tuesday.
On a lighter note, though the number of swine flu cases have increased in recent years, we can take this as success of the public influenza surveillance programs in California (hooray for us).
The article also introduced me to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR); its title suggests the nature and frequency of its reports. For anyone interested in official real-time developments of infectious diseases and treatment, you can find it at the MMWR website http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/ .

My final thought: I think I'll pass on pork chops for the time being.

-Teresa Tarn

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