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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flue the Baics (Auckland, New Zealand, Mexico) Facts

Symptoms usually similar to seasonal flu - but deaths recorded in Mexico

It is a new version of the H1N1 strain which caused the 1918 flu pandemic

Too early to say whether it will lead to a pandemic

Current treatments do work, but there is no vaccine

Good personal hygiene, such as washing hands, covering nose when sneezing advised


FLU PANDEMICS

1918: The Spanish flu pandemic remains the most devastating outbreak of modern times. Caused by a form of the H1N1 strain of flu, it is estimated that up to 40% of the world's population were infected, and more than 50 million people died, with young adults particularly badly affected

1957: Asian flu killed two million people. Caused by a human form of the virus, H2N2, combining with a mutated strain found in wild ducks. The impact of the pandemic was minimised by rapid action by health authorities, who identified the virus, and made vaccine available speedily. The elderly were particularly vulnerable

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