Thursday, June 11, 2009

Swine Flu Officially a Pandemic

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its six-level pandemic alert to the highest level in over 41-years, thanks to the Swine Flu.

WHO sent out a statement to all its member countries officially declaring Swine Flu a pandemic as it raised the alert level to the global pandemic level 6.

Although Swine Flu hasn’t been spreading as fast here in Canada, the number of infections has increased in the United States, Australia, and parts of Europe and South America.

In Canada, there have been almost three-thousand cases of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the Swine Flu. Of the 2,978 reported cases to Health Canada, there have been 138 people hospitalized by the bug, and four confirmed deaths.

In the U.S., there have been 6,247 confirmed infections of the H1N1 Swine Flu virus, and 67 people have died from the virus.

For years scientists have been warning us that we’re on the brink of a global pandemic, one which will be far worse than anything we’ve ever seen.

Is H1N1 Swine Flu just what the scientists have been worried about?

So far, not yet – though with WHO’s raising of the pandemic level today, it could be. However, scientists are more concerned about the next pandemic super-bug.

A super-bug is one which is resistant to modern medical cures. Thanks in part to our growing dependence on pharmaceuticals to cure everything from the common cold, to baldness, over time, our immune systems get weaker, our kid’s immune systems never develop to their full potential, and all the microbes we’ve been fighting off with these drugs have become more resistant against these chemical compounds.

Just think how easy it is to reach for a bottle of this-that-and-the-next-thing, rather than taking a day or two off work, to sleep off a cold. Those of us who grew up in the age of penicillin know all too well how easy it is to grab a bottle of drugs to fight off a cold – it was something we’d always be given when we were kids and sick.

Growth hormones in food to make that steak all the bigger, that chicken breast all the juicier, and that ham all the rounder have also contributed to our downfall over the years. Even fresh fruits and vegetables have been genetically altered over time, to last longer on our shelves, and be resistant to pests.

All of these additives to our bodies over time have created a dangerous scenario, which may just start to play itself out. These chemicals may have helped us fight off colds and flu faster, have made our kids physically grow faster, and even may have extended our maximum age by a handful of years. But all of these additives have weakened our immune systems, while strengthening the resilience of viruses and other deadly germs.

The H1N1 Swine Flu virus became a threat to humans, when the virus mutated inside a pig, so that the virus was now able to attack human cells. Since the virus has been in human beings, it has added to its makeup all the components of our DNA – especially the ones which fight viruses such as so-called Helper T Cells – which are the body’s natural defenders against attacking viruses.

If the H1N1 Swine Flu is spread from person to pig, with the human genetic code, it could very well change into a super-bug – one which is easily contagious to people, yet resistant to all modern medical cures.

And that’s just the kind of super-bug scientists are worried about being the next great global pandemic.

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