RUNNING HEAD: H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS 1 H1N1 Influenza Virus 2 H1N1 is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This virus was first detected in residents of the United States in April of 2009. This virus is contagious and is spreading from person to person worldwide just as seasonal flu viruses spread. According to Up To Date (2009), the month of July in the United States contained 43,000 confirmed cases of H1N1 reported from 55 states and territories. The World Health Organization (WHO) raised its pandemic alert level to the highest level, phase 6.
The characteristics of pandemics are their rapid spread to all parts of the world. According to American Medical Association (H1N1 news, n. d. ), as of November 12, 2009, data from April 2009 through October 17, 2009 indicates that: there is a total of 20 million people became ill with H1N1, 98,000 hospitalized, and 3,900 deaths. In the age group of eighteen years old and younger, eight million people were ill, 53,000 were hospitalized, and there were 540 deaths. Ages 65 and greater had two million ill, 9,000 hospitalized and 440 deaths (n. p. ). This is a growing pandemic that must be prevented from spreading.
H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS 3 [pic] Figure. 1 Rate of confirmed and probable cases of pandemic H1N1 influenza A in the United States by age group, April 15 to July 24, 2009. Excludes 6,741 cases with missing ages. Rate/100,000 by single year age groups. Denominator source: 2008 census estimates, US Census Bureau at https://www. census. go/popest/national/asrh/files/NC-EST2007-ALLDATA-R-File24. csv. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www. cdc. gov/h1n1flu/surveillanceqa. htm. Figure 1 shows the age groups most affected by the H1NI virus in the United
States. As can be seen, the highest level of reported infections occurred among individuals five to twenty-four years of age followed by individuals who are zero to four years of age. People who are zero to twenty-four years of age are most likely to get the H1N1 infection. According to the American Medical Association (Clinical guidance, n. d. ), the symptoms of the H1N1 influenza are similar to the symptoms of seasonal influenza and may include: • Fever greater than 100. 4( F • Sore throat • Cough • Stuffy nose • Chills • Headache and body aches • Fatigue Some people have reported having diarrhea and vomiting H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS 4 Most people feel better within a week, but some people get pneumonia and other serious illnesses and need to be hospitalized. When this happens, the person may die. The vaccine is the first and most important step in protection against the virus. Vaccination stimulates an immune response using a killed or weakened virus that uses the body’s own defense mechanism to prevent infection.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, (2009), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) recommends that certain groups of populations receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine first. These groups include: • Pregnant women • People who care for children younger than six months of age • Health care and emergency health services personnel with direct patient contact • Persons between the ages of six months and twenty-four years • People ages of twenty-five to sixty-four years of age who are at risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorder or have a compromised immune system (n. . ). Vaccines that protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu virus are available; however, the initial supply is limited. The ACIP states that when demands for the vaccine for target peoples are fulfilled, the vaccine will be available for all people who want to get vaccinated (CDC, 2009). According to Immunization Action Coalition (Vaccine information statements, n. d. ), the federal government is providing the H1N1 vaccine for receipt on a voluntary basis. There are two types of vaccine available.
One is live, attenuated intranasal vaccine (LAIV) which is given through the nose. The other one is inactive vaccine which is given as a shot. Children through nine years of age should get two doses of the vaccine about a month apart. Older children and adults only need to get it once. People from two to forty-nine years of age who have long term health problems, are pregnant, and children from six months to two H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS 5 years of age are recommended to have the inactivated vaccine in the form of a shot.
The vaccine is prepared in eggs, so people who have a severe allergy to eggs should not take form of the vaccine. There are some concerns about H1N1 vaccine safety. According to AMA (H1N1 vaccination safety, n. d. ), the H1N1 vaccine is as safe as seasonal influenza vaccine. Some common side affects include local reaction at the site like soreness, swelling, and redness. The annual vaccine may cause fever, headache, and vomiting. These systems are mild and last one to two days. Another concern is whether or not seasonal vaccines protect against the H1N1 flu.
According to CDC (2009), the answer is no. A third question is if seasonal vaccines and the 2009 H1N1 vaccine can be given at the same time. Inactivated 2009 H1N1 vaccine can be administered at the same time as any other vaccine. Live 2009 H1N1 vaccine can be administered at the same visit as any other live or inactivated vaccine except seasonal live attenuated influenza vaccine (CDC, 2009). Another solution to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus is by educating the community. Community hospitals, schools, churches, and community health centers can play a major role to educate the people.
The community could hand out flyers and pamphlets about the H1N1 virus and how to prevent it. Television and radio have high impact on peoples’ lives. By broadcasting educational commercials, panic and frustration might be caused but knowing is better than being ignorant. It will cost money and time to print the papers but it will benefit the community and its health. Media can play a good role to make people aware of H1N1. A third solution to protect from H1N1 infection is to take some general measures that will reduce the risk of getting infected.
These measures, according to U. S. News (2009), include hugging a friend instead of kissing them because hugging is less likely to transmit droplets from the nose or mouth. Washing hands frequently (preferably in using sinks that turn on automatically) and using one’s own pen when making purchases is also a good idea to practice because the H1N1 virus can live on surfaces for several hours. H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS 6
Sneezing into one’s elbow, not hands, avoiding hand shakes, and using hand sanitizer will also help to prevent the spread of infection. One should not frequently rub the eyes, nose, or mouth with the hand. Even though all these every day precautions are antisocial, they prevent the spread of germs. These preventive measures are economical and a healthy way to avoid the spread of the infection, until enough vaccines are available so that everyone can get vaccinated. No doubt, the H1N1 virus is causing illness in a significant number of people and the vaccine is the best choice of prevention of the influenza.
The problem is that there is only a limited amount of the vaccine. The education of the community is necessary, but it could create panic among the people. The third solution is best in this situation, even though it is antisocial, but it is cost effective and easy to follow until enough vaccine is made and distributed so that everyone can be vaccinated. This is not just one person’s problem. All of the people must collaborate together to help each other to get through this pandemic. Having a cure is much better than going through treatment.
Lets all work together to prevent the spread. H1N1 Influenza Virus 7 References American Medical Association. (n. d. ). H1N1 news. Retrieved from https://www. ama-assn. org/ama/pub/h1n1/news. shtml American Medical Association. (n. d. ). Clinical guidance. Retrieved from https://www. ama-assn. org/ama/pub/h1n1/clinical-guidance. shtml American Medical Association. (n. d. ). H1N1 vaccination safety. Retrieved from https://www. ama-assn. org/ama/pub/h1n1/vaccination-information/safety. shtml Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009, November 13). 009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine. Retrieved from https://www. cdc. gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub. htm Epidemiology, clinical manifestation, and diagnosis of pandemic H1N1 influenza. (2009). Retrieved from www. uptodate. com Immunization Action Coalition. (n. d. ). Vaccine information statement. Retrieved from www. immunize. org/vis Kotz, D. (n. d. ). 10 Do’s and Don’ts to Help Protect Yourself from Swine Flu. U. S. News & World Report. Retrieved from https://www. usnews. com/listings/avoiding-swine-flu/use-hand-sanitizer H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS
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