Infection Virus is found in the airways and the virus is transmitted from person to person through the air.
New influenza virus A/H1N1 April 2009 The new influenza A strain circulating in Mexico and now isolated in April 2009 is now spreading world wide and is considered a pandemic. The last pandemic was in 1968. Pandemics arise when there is a major shift in virus type. The previous pandemics were 1918: type H1N1 1957: type H2N2 1968: type H3N2 Infections with influenza takes place during autumn, winter and spring. In the 1968 pandemic, infections stopped by the middle of May, but there is a second wave in the autumn and winter season 2009.
A vaccine is not yet available (30 July 2009).
Persons at special risk including pregnant women should take Tamiflu or Relenza if developing symptoms of influenza (fever, cough and muscle pains).
A new vaccine is manufactured every year for the northern and southern hemispheres containing the variant, which is predicted to cause outbreaks during the next 6 months.
In the northern hemisphere the vaccine for the season is usually available around the 1st October.
Protection is around 70% to 90%.
The vaccine contains small amounts of egg protein, and people allergic to eggs should not be vaccinated.
The current vaccines do not protect against the new A/H1N1 strain.
Symptoms Fever, cough, headache, muscle- and joint pains.
Diagnosis Typical symptoms during an outbreakVirus can be found in a swab from the airways. Antibodies can be found in a blood sample.
The antiviral compounda zanamivir (Relenza) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is effective if the treatment is started within 48 hours of the symptoms appearing. There has been reports from Europe of high levels of resistance against Tamiflu in H1N1 strains. The first reports indicate that the new A/H1N1 strain is susceptible to Tamiflu.
Prevention Vaccination. Mortality from flu increases with age and people over 65 and people with chronic diseases like obstructive lung disease, chronic heart disease should be vaccinated. Hand wash.