Thursday, April 30, 2009
Several complete genome sequences for U.S. flu cases were rapidly made available through the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID). Preliminary genetic characterization found that the hemagglutinin (HA) gene was similar to that of swine flu viruses present in U.S. pigs since 1999, but the neuraminidase (NA) and matrix protein (M) genes resembled versions present in European swine flu isolates. The six genes from American swine flu are themselves mixtures of swine flu, bird flu, and human flu viruses. While viruses with this genetic makeup had not previously been found to be circulating in humans or pigs, there is no formal national surveillance system to determine what viruses are circulating in pigs in the U.S. The seasonal influenza strain H1N1 vaccine is thought to be unlikely to provide protection.
However, this type of H1N1 Influenza can be treated with Oseltamavir and Relenza. By the this time next week Helix Health of Connecticut will have an adequate stockpile for its patients and employees. We are prepared. Are you?
The Sherpa Says: This genetic "Mongrel" is spreading rapidly and my guess is that the United States Government may be ready. But the towns and states may not be as ready. You can be ready by washing your hands, staying home when you are sick, covering your mouth when you cough and keeping people home who can't do those things. If you have fevers, go to your doctor or to the Emergency Room. But remember, those at highest risk have had contact with those from or returning from Mexico.