More commonly known as H1N1, and even more commonly referred to as “swine flu”, is a strain of the Influenza A, or flu, virus. Now, “why call it ‘H1N1’ or ‘swine flu,’” you might ask? Well, the “H” comes from the protein called Hemagglutinin (HA) found on the surface of the virus which is what causes the virus to bind with the cell that it’s infecting. The “N”, on the other hand, refers to the protein, Neuraminidase (NA), which allows the virus to be released from the host cell, thus causing infection of the cell. As for being called “swine flu,” according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1, “In June 2009, World Health Organization declared that flu due to a new strain of swine-origin H1N1 was responsible for the 2009 flu pandemic. This strain is often called ‘swine flu’ by the public media.”
There really is no need for a pandemic though, because the H1N1 virus actually is no worse than the regular seasonal flu. In fact, the seasonal flu is said to claim more lives per year than the H1N1 virus. There is also a vaccine for the H1N1 virus, but most people recover from the virus without any major medical treatment due to its similarity in the seasonal flu. Although, if medical treatment is needed, you are to call in to the doctor’s office, report your symptoms, and await your meds.
I’ll conclude by saying that, in my opinion, the H1N1 virus is nothing to be afraid of. It’s just another form of the regular flu and exerts the same symptoms. So, if you feel weak, drowsy, and flu like, it could be H1N1, but we are in the “flu season”, so it could very well be the regular flu. Either way, you’re gonna be sick and you should take the necessary precautions to better yourself and prevent spreading your sickness to others.