Outbreak of H1N1 flu defines 2009

Amanda Vandelinder ‘15


H1N1, also known as the “swine flu,” is a respiratory illness found in pigs. Even though it normally does not infect humans, there was a worldwide H1N1 outbreak prevalent in 2009. The “swine flu” pandemic of 2009 killed approximately 203,000 people worldwide. This was 10 times higher than the estimated number based on the first cases confirmed by lab tests, according to an analysis by an international group of scientists.

H1N1 gets its name of “swine flu” from a similar virus found in pigs. The H1N1 virus is currently a seasonal flu virus found in humans. Although it also circulates in pigs, humans cannot get it from eating pork, according to Charles Patrick Davis.

The “swine flu” affected L’Anse Creuse Schools because schools had to keep clean and make students aware of the virus so people would not get sick. Students were asked to wash hands frequently, and to avoid drinking from the same pop or juice bottle. Hand sanitizer became prevalent in all classrooms.

Mexico, Argentina and Brazil had the highest death rates from the H1N1 pandemic. Researchers also found that the mortality burden of this widespread virus heavily affected the younger people and those living in certain parts of the Americas. It was estimated that a total of 60.8 million cases of H1N1 occurred in the United States alone during the 2009 outbreak, according to Brian Resnick.

During this outbreak, people wore masks. Many people did not want to leave their houses unless absolutely necessary. The symptoms of H1N1 are similar to the seasonal flu symptoms, and it is also spreads the same way as seasonal flu.

The best way to prevent contracting the H1N1 flu is to get a normal flu shot. Prevention also includes washing hands, avoiding touching your eyes or mouth to stop the spread of germs, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. To make it through any flu season, it is important to follow these instructions.