iklan sikit


my pet

Friday, 1 May 2009

is name really a big deal?

i think everyone is well-informed now of the pandemic of influenza that has been affecting most of the countries around the world. it has caused nearly 200 death, and yet no vaccine has been developed. FYI, inluenza virus type A is a highly mutated virus, yup, and this one is the one that has the combination of swine, birds and human genetics in it.

and now, there's been a debate on changing the flu name from swine flu to something else. is name really a big deal here?haha...some says that the name 'swine' is not appropriate as eating pork wont cause any transmission(true,influenza is an air-borne disease), but some says it should be called swine flu as it is genetically porcine,at least most part of the gene.

still,what is it that name really matter?

owh,because they also said that the 'swine' name has caused confusion to certain government, that Egypt has started to slaughter big amount of pigs, in order to prevent the disease transmission. i'm not sure if that's really necessary, but prevention is better than cure.
and by using 'swine' name, it caused the fear in consumers to buy pork product, for the fear of become infected. so,it will influence the pork industry in a bad way.

And some call it H1N1 swine flu or simply H1N1 influenza A virus. ok,what actually these 2 alphabets and 2 numbers mean? H=hemaglutinin , N=neuraminidase --> both are proteins or antigens on the surface of the virus, ok no need to go into details on this. the number indicates the different strains of the virus. all the vaccine for influenza is strain sensitive, and as influenza A virus is characterized with antigen drift and antigen shift(meaning they undergo several point mutations --> they produce new strains), so with the production of new strains, we need to produce new vaccine.

so, some experts decided to change the name to 'North American flu' or better to be 'Mexican flu' as the disease started from Mexico itself, but the Mexican government is against the name, as for them, the virus gene is from Europe and Asia. (i dun think that if a virus or disease is named after a place or a person, that particular place or person should be ashamed of that. for instance, we have Japanese encephalitis, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever. haha,but i remembered and i also googled this to recall the same case of Melaka virus. Melaka state government also against the name before.)

So,which name best suits this virus. I prefer to stick to 'swine virus'. After all, people has already been aware of the name. Lets not cause more confusion.


Last but not least, lets pray to Allah, that this pandemic will stop sooner.
Allahumma afini fi badani.


for more info