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Dr. Van Sickels
1 November 2009
UK, You, and the Flu
As the flu season fast approaches this year, college students have an even bigger reason to worry. This year the world has felt the effects of a new type of flu virus, initially given the name "swine flu". It was originally given the name "swine flu" because many of the genes in this virus were similar to influenza that occurs in pigs. However, it was discovered that this new virus genetically varies from swine flu, and, in fact, varies from all other types of flu. The H1N1 virus as it was properly titled, is recombinant, combining genetic material from swine flu, avian flu, and human seasonal flu, into a single super strand. (Brockwell-Staats, C, RG Webster, and RJ Webby). The University of Kentucky has reported over 70 cases of the new H1N1 virus on its campus.
So although the university has increased its awareness and prevention efforts, the virus continues to plague the campus.
H1N1 is a respiratory disease caused by an influenza virus, and has been labeled as a influenza pandemic, meaning that the infection has spread to a global scale. The virus is spread much of the same ways as seasonal influenza, mainly from person to person contact by sneezing or coughing with the virus. People may also become infected by touching a surface that has the influenza virus on it, and then touching an orphus such as the mouth or the nose. A study from the Center for Disease Control shows that the H1N1 virus can survive on a surface two to eight hours after being deposited by an infected person. According to the CDC, people infected with seasonal and novel H1N1 flu shed virus and...