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Swine Flu: Are we doomed?

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As the swine flu pandemic persists to sweep across the globe, what do epidemiologists and flu experts think will occur within the pending months? Since the materialization of the H1N1 swine flu in Mexico, the virus has invaded 168 countries in every continent with more than 160,000 infections having been confirmed. It is estimated that this figure could be 10 times that if cases have gone undetected. Recently the World Health Organisation reported in Geneva that the swine flu death toll has amounted to 3,205. Although it is not yet possible to predict how the virus will evolve, researchers have premonitions similar to everyone else. We have currently reached a balance point between the summer wave and the possible autumn wave. ...read more.


The Mexican swine flu resists older antiviral drugs like rimantadine but it is obviously still susceptible to Tamiflu as well as Relenza. Nonetheless, last flu season, virologists were shocked when the ordinary H1N1 spontaneously developed near total-resistance to Tamiflu. The worry is that swine H1N1 could follow the same trend, particularly if it starts swapping genes with the human virus. Leading researchers have said that our best hope will most likely lie in monoclonal antibodies, which could both prevent infection and help fight it. These immune proteins can be engineered to recognize a specific virus, and then manufactured in production plants. The vaccines will focus on parts of the virus, which do not mutate, meaning they will still work if the virus evolves. ...read more.


Tamiflu resistance can also transpire if the drug is widely used on those with very mild symptoms. The situations must be carefully observed as influenza has startled us numerous times before. It seems that if we utilize all the scientific tools available to us, then even if the virus mutates, we can still wipe it out. However, this will cause gigantic financial deficits, not exactly fitting in well with the current economic situation, which is practically in free-fall. Although the virus is a potential killer, it does not look likely it will cause the extinction of the human race. By Josh Leader 3205 AS level subjects: chemistry, biology, mathematics and latin Swine Flu: Are we doomed? 04/10/2009 14:19 04/10/2009 14:19 04/10/2009 14:19 ...read more.

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