Topics: Influenza, Avian influenza, Pandemic Pages: 2 (700 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Throughout the history of the world diseases and illnesses have plagued all living creatures. But it was the widespread pandemics that really terrorized the world. A pandemic is a widespread disease that is spread throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world. Various aspects of the pandemics are interesting, how a virus evolved, to how fast it spread. A very recent pandemic that occurred happened in 2009, when the H1N1 broke out, or more commonly known as swine flu, broke out across the world. But it wasn’t the H1N1 virus that scientist were worried about. It was actually the H1N5, or avian flu, that was thought to be the problem, especially since it was a major epidemic across the world that affected the poultry in parts of the world. The H1N1 virus was first detected in 2009 from a ten year old boy. The virus was a unique combination of influenza viruses never seen in other people or animals, but what was known was that the viruses’ genes were closely related to the North American swine lineage. On the other hand, no evidence was found that it directly came from the American swine supply. So how did the swine influenza seem to appear in three different species? It simply evolved from the previous virus to fit its need.

A very constant influenza virus that seems to be changing and going to and from different species is the avian flu. Most commonly influenza flu’s originate from aquatic birds, since they are usually the ones that are exposed the most to untreated waters. From there the virus mutates in order to find different hosts to infect. It can and has affected horses, ducks, chickens, seals, and other animals. Usually the virus is transmitted in two ways: directly from infected birds or from avian flu contaminated environments to the host, or the virus goes through an intermediate host, such as a pig, and then is transmitted to the host. The most recent virus that has affected many different species is the West Nile virus. The...
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