The 2009 outbreak of swine flu is an epidemic of a new Influenza A H1N1 strain of flu virus that was clinically identified in April 2009.The United States (US) experienced an outbreak of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, commonly known as the “swine flu”, in the spring of 2009. The outbreak apparently spread from an earlier outbreak in Mexico. Initial US infections occurred in late March 2009 in California, and by mid-April had spread to scores of people across several states. Public health officials in the United States and the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed serious concern because the initial outbreak was suspected in over 100 deaths in Mexico, transmitted easily from person to person, and no vaccine was available, prompting President Obama to declare a public health emergency. By the end of April, hundreds of people were confirmed or suspected as infected, one person had died, and hundreds of schools were closed, keeping over 169,000 students at home.
The influenza virus has also caused several pandemic threats over the past century, including the pseudo-pandemic of 1947, the 1976 swine flu outbreak and the 1977 Russian flu, all caused by the H1N1 subtype. The world has been at an increased level of alert since the SARS epidemic in Southeast Asia (caused by the SARS coronavirus). The level of preparedness was further increased and sustained with the advent of the H5N1 bird flu outbreaks because of H5N1's high rate of virulence.
The new strain has spread widely beyond Mexico and the U.S., with confirmed cases in eighteen countries and suspected cases in forty-two. Many countries have advised their inhabitants not to travel to infected areas. Areas including Australia, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, ,Singapore, South Korea ,Thailand And here in our Country as well are monitoring visitors returning from flu-affected areas to identify people with fever and respiratory symptoms. Many countries have also issued warnings to visitors of flu-affected areas to contact a doctor immediately if they had flu-like symptoms.
Recommendations to prevent infection by the virus consist of the standard personal precautions against influenza. This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after being out in public. The CDC advises not touching the mouth, nose or eyes, as these are primary modes of transmission. When coughing, they recommend coughing into a tissue and disposing of the tissue, then immediately washing the hands.There is no risk of flu transmission from the consumption of properly-cooked pork products