As been reported A[H1N1] Swine Flu is Avian flu, Swine flu and Human flu all-in-one. Ok, it has the properties resembling all three. But since viruses and germs procreate by splitting and not by copulating, it must have originated through any of these: A Bird flu virus infected swine. The virus mutated as it adapted to its new environment to start a strain of [bird] Swine flu. The virus happened to infect a pig previously or later, was infected by Human flu. The bird-Swine flu virus further mutated assimilating the qualities of a Human flu virus thus becoming a bird-human-Swine flu. Or, it could be the other way around. A Human flu virus infected swine and became a [human] Swine flu, and so on.
Whatever, the newest strain that then has the property of a human flu became Zoonotic or disease organisms that are passable from animals [pigs] to humans. And, since they are now in man, they have finally become easily transmittable among humans [and probably passable back to swine and birds]. All that appears theoretical, or presumption by science, as nobody was there observing right when the first freaks mutated.
The whole thing is intriguing. While most people would regard the matter as entirely new, similar zoonosis must have occurred countless times already since dawn of mankind. Man, swine and all the rest have always co-existed. But I guess what made this time extra ordinary is because it’s not everyday that something virulent like this one came to pass.
Other than them could be more intriguing. Let’s be frank about this and face it. Mutation as we know is genetic [re]engineering. It could either be natural – by the organism itself, or it could be artificial – of Genetic science – by man. By artificial it could either be intentional or it could be accidental. In fact vaccines are related matter as they are actually disease organisms that have been altered by man. They are usually modified-live viruses: virus is altered to become harmless and then propagated for medical or veterinary use. Apparently, while vaccines are beneficial, even science cannot be sure about them. Per instruction, excess amount of them after each use, are exterminated together with all paraphernalia used.
No, I’m not a Doctor of medicine, a Vet, or a scientist. I am a carpenter who, once in a while, read works of authorities and experts in their fields. You see, I have a wife, I have 7 children ages from thirteen to twenty six and I have 5 grandchildren – the eldest of whom is six years old. I’ve tried to keep up with information that greatly helped in bringing everyone through this far. What we do not know cannot hurt us, right? Wrong. Information is important. It can save lives, or it can also save high costs of hospitalization. Right now I have actually two bulotong [chicken pox] in the family.
I’ve worked as pig farm manager in the 80s. I took the job that I knew nothing about so I started with the books. I recall about keeping the farm secured from ruminants, especially birds to include chickens. Loose chickens will be feeding with pigs and some of them could be carrier of bird-passed virulent organisms. That, farm personnel who are with flu should stay out of the premises until they are well again so they also, do not infect the stocks. [Funny, I don’t remember anything said about humans staying away from pigs that sneeze or positive of Swine flu!] For my own safety I really had to know everything about my line of work. And sure enough I came to know about zoonoses, like Leptospirosis and anthrax, among possible hazards. I don’t remember Swine flu as a direct concern for man. I guess they were no more than a simple sneeze to him then.
But, about A[H1N1] Swine flu, or should not we now say A[H1N1] Human flu, how really dreadful is it? Going through the total number of people infected, and considering the rate of mortality to date, A[H1N1] Flu appears nothing compared to say, Dengue fever. At 6 thousands infected worldwide and at roughly 0.01 mortality, A[H1N1] Flu appears dwarf when compared to other killer diseases. The worrisome part seems to be the fact that as reported, there is no cure yet developed for those who are stricken. Also, as reported, vaccine might not be available before December this year.
It should be noted that number of people infected and mortality referred only to cases reported. A[H1N1] Flu virus is airborne. Thus, infestation, which is easily transmitted among humans, should be assumed more widespread than we people think. The infestation must be far beyond the numbers of cases diagnosed, confirmed positive, and reported. It can safely be assumed that more are infected without people probably knowing it. Thermal sensors at travel checkpoints are therefore inadequate at controlling the spread of the viruses. To compare, Dengue is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes’ bites. Dengue cases in Metro Manila alone far exceeded world statistics of places hit by A[H1N1]. The good news about Dengue is that, like Malaria which is also mosquitoes transmitted, they are more confined to certain territories. Dengue appears more lethal though apparently more controllable. Dengue has frog-leaped great distances so that humans are also suspect carriers, to have possibly passed them to Dengue or Dengue-like mosquitoes, to start another outbreak. Malaria exists in places not reached or saturated by eradication program until the 70s when the use of DDT was disallowed.
Meanwhile, something out of Pandora’s Box doesn’t go away by itself. They just grow old. Meaning, there is no way stopping A[H1N1] flu from spreading worldwide. Measures at containing the outbreak appear good only in slowing down its spread. But there must be something good at retarding that impending spread. Between a trickle and a swarm of something highly lethal is a big difference. Certainly time must be of help. Let’s hope the thing will lose virulence as it progresses. Yes, the sad and also the glad news is that the most virulent of them don’t last long. They kill their hosts thus killing themselves. That’s about extinction of the unfit by Mother Nature herself. Sounds hopeful and wishful thinking by me, you might say. Surely, something real can be done about this A[H1N1] Flu , which is development of vaccine or cure against it. And that again, indeed, is a matter called time.
I remember not too long ago a scion of a renowned media person died of Malaria in Palawan. He was there to make one documentary regarding some indigenous tribe. The place happened to be Malaria infested. Natives have lived with Malaria for generations. They eat Malaria infected animals. They drink Malaria infested water. Malaria appears nothing to many of them. Not for the young stranger. He died around 48 hours after infected stricken. What’s interesting about that? It looks like we had a classic case of one old-primitive meeting an advanced-updated. Naturally the contest favored the superior one. Now, which was which?
It also showed that resistance to disease is something developed, genetic-hereditary, or may be something passed on. That’s about survival of the fittest by Mother Nature herself, or something called evolution.
Meanwhile, always brace yourselves against any of them tiny things, folks. Added lately is only flu, just a more advanced and more virulent form of it. But, remember any of them agents of decay can pounce and kill. Some of them are probably already in us struggling for their survival. But come another time it might not be the same, for it could be the other way around. That’s right. Under some circumstances even ordinary flu can kill… the weak. In different circumstances, the same could actually be adding to the stock of the fit, which will probably win him the race comes another round.
Well, as been said, animal kingdom has always been an endless race for dominance of this planet Earth. Cheers people, you and I have out-paced and out-raced everything else this far. But, watch out. Maybe Filipinos should listen to W.H.O. and D.O.H. once in a while instead of brushing them aside because viruses do not salute age, sex, color of skin, religion, nationality, fame and wealth, and yes, social classes. Viruses are more than real classless, folks, so watch out!