One can only feel feeble at the myriad episodes of the deadly flu virus strains that keep surfacing from time to time. As one pans back to almost less than a century ago, when a colossal mayhem struck with the Spanish flu epidemic where numerous cases of breathlessness, respiratory tract discomfort and inevitable, fatal, internal bleeding to the vital organs were accounted. Millions lost their lives since no public awareness or effectual and timely medical treatments were available then. Even now many third world countries still face the brunt of these epidemics with harrowing recurrence.
The next shot in the arm occurred during 2005, when a noxious strain of H5N1, named the Bird flu can into existence. With surmounting evidence that this influenza strain were passed through infected poultry birds in comparison to the marine birds, that would successfully carry the infection in their bodies without falling sick, one saw a surge of numerous poultry culling events. There were escalating cases of initial infection among the caretakers of birds or those consuming the infected fowl. The only bone of contention was that the strain lacked human-to-human airborne conduction.
The SARS scare also called the severe acute respiratory syndrome, having originated in China, had devastating effect on countless people. It’s uniqueness being its effective vapor transmission, and the fact that the contaminated person can easily transmit the disease with meager symptoms himself.
The latest threat that is causing insurmountable loss of lives is the Swine flu (H1N1 strain , a deadly combo of human, bird and pig genetic pool), with the swine(pig) involved in the inter-species influenza infection. Acute defibrillation, darkish discoloration of skin, vomiting, loose motions, high body temperatures, cough and cough are some of the tell tale signs of this deadly infection. Although, these some medications, Tamiflu to name one, available across counters to tackle the menace in its early stages, there has been an obnoxious increase in the swine flu deaths reported world wide. It can cause fatalities among the HIV infected people with already deteriorated immune systems. Expecting mothers need to take utmost care by consulting specialist as to which medications are permissible, as it could lead to severe pneumonia or premature labor.
Being an air borne disease, one needs to take utmost precautions like maintaining hygiene, staying away from populated areas, stocking up requisite medicines, being alert to symptoms persisting for longer than a week, carrying out nasal swab analysis in case of doubt.
There are several misleading facts that need to be cleared out about the swine flu. The primary being that eating pork will ensure the infection, which is not true, as well cooked, clean meat, will not lead to the infection. Another false claim is that the normal masks are adept in preventing the virus. Although these operative masks do help to obstruct the droplets that the diseased person wheezes, it is ineffective in preventing the passage of the microscopic particles carrying the virus which can easily penetrate these ordinary masks. The specialized N-series masks are best fitted for such occasions. Many feel that those who consume multi mineral medications are prone to the disease are also a facade. Others feel sure by the fact that the annual flu shots are a good deterrent, but sadly inconclusive as these strains keep metamorphosing at steady pace to evolve into deadlier forms.
It is a well orchestrated fact that the seeds of these deadly strains are still well preserved in several bird species and they will imminently conjugate new ways of spreading by mutating their gene pool and housing in varied host forms. Several perilious flu forms have died out, but experts are of the mindset that these replicating viral forms will keep surfacing, the only fact being that it cannot be eliminated.
We are sitting on a ticking time bomb of deadly scores of flu strains. It is high time the authorities learnt from past inconsistencies and took stock of the situation to combat this menace at the root.