FAQ - Influenza, Human
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Was swine flu created in a lab because how could a pig get infected with human and bird influenza?

How is this possible a pig infected with its flu somehow became infected with human influenza and on top of that came across Bird flu.

It does raise serious questions about where this brand new, never before seen virus came from, especially since it cannot be contracted from eating pork products, and has never before been seen in pigs, and contains traits from the bird flu and which so far only seems to respond to Tamiflu.

According to the Associated Press at least one financial analyst estimates up to $388 million worth of Tamiflu sales in the near future. That's without a pandemic outbreak.

More than half a dozen pharmaceutical companies, including Gilead Sciences Inc., Roche, GlaxoSmithKline and other companies with a stake in flu treatments and detection, have seen a rise in their shares in a matter of days, and will likely see revenue boosts if the swine flu outbreak continues to spread.

In February 2009, American pharmaceutical company Baxter was under investigation for distributing the deadly avian flu virus to 18 different countries as part of a seasonal flu vaccine shipment. Czech reporters were probing to see if it may have been part of a deliberate attempt to start a pandemic; as such a "mistake" would be virtually impossible under the security protocols of that virus.

The contaminated product, a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 viruses, was supplied to an Austrian research company. The Austrian firm, Avir Green Hills Biotechnology, then sent portions of it to sub-contractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.

The contaminated product, which Baxter calls “experimental virus material,” was made at the Orth-Donau research facility. Baxter makes its flu vaccine, including a human H5N1 vaccine (for which a licence is expected shortly) at a facility in the Czech Republic. People familiar with biosecurity rules are dismayed by evidence that human H3N2 and avian H5N1 viruses somehow co-mingled in the Orth-Donau facility. That is a dangerous practice that should not be allowed to happen, a number of experts insisted.

While H5N1 doesn’t easily infect people, H3N2 viruses do. If someone exposed to a mixture of the two had been simultaneously infected with both strains, he or she could have served as an incubator for a hybrid virus able to transmit easily to and among people. That mixing process, called “reassortment”, is one of two ways pandemic viruses are created in the lab.

Reassortment is the mixing of the genetic material of two similar viruses that are infecting the same cell. In particular, reassortment occurs among influenza viruses, whose genomes consist of eight distinct segments of RNA. These segments act like mini-chromosomes, and each time a flu virus is assembled, it requires one copy of each segment.

The H5N1 virus on its own is not very airborne. However, when combined with seasonal flu viruses, which are more easily spread, the effect could be a potent, airborne, deadly, biological weapon. If this batch of live bird flu and seasonal flu viruses had reached the public, it could have resulted in terrible consequences. Some scientists say the most recent global outbreak (the 1977 Russian flu) was started by a virus created and leaked from a laboratory.

A top scientist for the United Nations, who has examined the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, as well as HIV/AIDS victims, has concluded that the current swine flu virus possesses certain transmission "vectors" that suggest the new strain has been genetically-manufactured. The UN expert believes that Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and the current A-H1N1 swine flu virus are biological warfare agents.

Another example of the less sterling integrity of Big Pharma is the case of Bayer, who sold millions of dollars worth of an injectable blood-clotting medicine to Asian, Latin American, and some European countries in the mid-1980s, even though they knew it was tainted with the AIDS virus.  (+ info)

If Swine Influenza is, "not able to be passed from human to human", how have people contracted it?

Could someone currently contract Swine Influenza, even if they had no contact with infected animals?

Note: the words inside the quotation marks are not my own knowledge, but what I have heard other people saying.

Regular swine flu generally doesn't pass from human to human.

However, the current type of flu in the news is a mixture of swine, bird, and human flu strains, and because of the human part does pass easily from person to person.

The flu in the news is called swine flu because it contains part of the swine flu virus, but it's still unknown if it ever infected a pig (although it's likely).  (+ info)

What did Spanish influenza do to the human body?

Effect? I know how it's spread, how it's caught, what the symptoms are and all that jazz, but what exactly did spanish flu do to people? What happened to them while they were sick?

Estimates place the death toll in the United States at over 675,000 with over 22 million becoming ill. Leading physicians of the time thought the illness a bacterium, but in fact it was something not yet discovered--a virus. American were familiar with the flu; it sent you to bed, made you miserable for 3 or 4 days with fever, muscle aches, and congestion, then left you shaky for about a week. It made millions sick, yet killed only the oldest, youngest, and most feeble. It was a horror that turned victims bluish-black then drowned them with their own body fluids. the death toll was highest in the ages 15 to 40, those in the peak of health. The victims would be fine one minute and the next incapacitated, fever-racked, and delirious. Temperatures rose to 104-106 degrees, skin turned blue, purple, or deep brown from lack of oxygen. Massive pneumonia attacked the lungs, filling them with fluid; blood gushed from the nose. Death was quick, savage, and terrifying.  (+ info)

how does the pathogen that causes influenza cause the disruption of human health?

Also, how can the pathogen be contracted, avoided, and treated?

A virus is what causes influenza. In general a virus takes over your body cells by splicing viral DNA into the host (you are the host) DNA. Now the cell becomes a virus factory making new viron particles. At the end of all this many of the cells die off. This is what causes the devastating effects of flu. Influenza is one of the deadliest diseases known, the 1918 pandemic killed 20 million people world wide. The bird flu has the capability of doing the same.  (+ info)

Is the effectiveness of disinfect spray that kills human viruses like influenza, the same as killin dog virus?

the spray im referring to is a lysol disinfectant spray and im trying to disinfect my apartment where my parvovirus infected puppy had recently lived. I've wiped down the smooth surfaces with bleach and water but furniture like sofas, and beds etc. i cant exactly put them through bleach so I'd like to know if the disinfectant can kill all types of viruses. Thanks so much.

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Can Human Influenza travel and mutate to other species?

It can, but it is rare. swine flu CAN jump to humans, but this is very rare. and often, if a flu virus jumps to people, it cannon jump from a person to another person. (that is what avian/bird flu does)  (+ info)

what type of human cells and organs are infected by Avian influenza (H5N1)?

Means... the specific organs and cells which are involved in the viral infection.

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Will H5N1 influenza virus become a major human pandemic?

If you mean 'bird flu', I doubt it. I mean it's been around for a few years and there have only been a few human cases, and nearly all handled chickens or other birds. If it were going to mutate into a human to human virus it probably would have by now.

But, not to be alarmist, but there are probably things out there we don't see coming that could cause big trouble.  (+ info)

What does it mean that the influenza virus has "parts" from other known swine flus, human flus?

and American bird flus?
how does that process happend???

Basically the virus we call swine flu is a mutated version of swine,human and avian flu all mixed together, to form a super-flu.
They have all come in contact with each other, and kind of mixed, then grown and mixed more.  (+ info)

Where (in which chromosome) the viral(Avian influenza, H5N1) genome gets integrated with the host human cell?

Why do you think it gets integrated? That does not make sense to me.
It is part of Orthomyxoviridae. Retroviruses, like HIV, are integrated.

If it integrated, the flu could resurge at any time, in theory, after you recovered.  (+ info)

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