|The H1N1 virus has attacked the world with unprecedented vengeance during and after April, 2009.|
|The trail of disease started off in Mexico and then spread in many countries around the world. The H1N1 virus is more virulent than the H5N1 (avian flu) virus that had spread a couple of years ago. The issue with H1N1 is that it has started spreading from humans to other humans which lends much more teeth to its viciousness. There are many countries, like India and other nations that have started detailed and methodical screening of all passengers coming in from swine flu infected countries to arrest its spread and prevent local populations from becoming infected. In developing countries, where healthcare facilities are limited, the consequences of any spread of this virus could indeed be disastrous, putting at risk the huge number of poor and illiterate people who do not have access to vaccines or medicines. |
Vaccines have traditionally used killed viruses to act on the viruses and counter the same. This is similar to the process developed by Jonas Salk way back in 1955 in dealing with the polio virus. It may be noted that even the world does produce influenza vaccines, more than 500,000 people die of this disease on a yearly basis. It is also expected that if and when a global H1N1 pandemic is declared as being projected by the WHO, all the global manufacturers of vaccines will not be able to produce more than 1 billion vaccines, considering their current capacity. This will indeed accentuate the problem as millions might perish due to lack of proper treatment.
Resources are already under a lot of strain. If the H1N1 virus makes reappearance as a stronger and deadlier strain, it could very well mean that the current vaccines would go waste. Again, it would also imply that new vaccines will have to be produced at extra cost and huge diversion of resources from producing the normal, seasonal flu vaccine. All this could have disastrous consequences. It is hoped that the current outbreak of H1N1 will get contained by late spring or at least by summer. But no one can predict this clearly, since it is possible that the virus could come back in a modified and more virulent form, endangering the lives of millions of people globally. While scientists are spending untiring efforts in making the seed strain of the virus, it would take more than 6 months to come up with huge quantities of the vaccine, by which time the virus strain could have mutated into a deadlier strain. This is scary indeed.
When we talk of resources, we need to realize that spending huge amount of dollars on a vaccine that may never be used is also a call that counties have to take, especially when it can take around $2 billion to produce the vaccine. That’s the dimensions of the economic fallout or bill that could impact the US if it decides to produce the vaccine in large quantities, with no guarantee of it usage. Parents should be aware with this and start to go to the doctor to get swine flu vaccine for their babies so they could avoid swine flu in babies.
Posted by Parenting Tips