I personally have stopped calling this “Swine Flu” because that is only part of the story. I refuse to call it simply Influenza “A” as that is the designation of one of the 3 Influenza viruses and the total of 5 viruses in the same family. Let’s be specific and call it Mexican flu 2009.
What is it?
First and foremost it is an Influenza virus of type A. This means if you catch it, you will get sick and feel pretty bad. If you have underlying health problems with your lungs or heart then it may kill you. Having given the last warning, it seems that the majority of fatalities from this Mexican virus have been in the 20 to 40 age group.
Secondly it is a new “version” of this virus. Viruses are constantly changing (mutating) and this is one of the problems we are facing now. This virus seems to be a “mixture” of two different swine flu viruses, one human flu virus, and an unknown avian flu virus. You should note that mixture is the simplest term as these different viruses have joined together to form a new strain of the disease.
The good news is that at present it does seem to be getting weaker the further it is travelling from its initial source in Mexico. The bad news is that when autumn comes (this is very soon in the southern hemisphere) it could come back stronger than before. So do not assume it is at an end yet because it isn’t.