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An influenza pandemic has recently been declared, involving the novel A(H1N1) 'swine flu' virus. This has spread to almost 100 countries worldwide in less than two months, causing widespread disease so far in Mexico, USA and Canada. It is highly likely that over the next 12 months, many countries including the UK will be affected by widespread illness. In the UK this wave of intense flu activity is most likely to occur in late autumn 2009.
Very little is known about the new H1N1 pandemic virus. For example we do not know how long the virus is excreted by infected humans and how much virus is spread to surfaces and carried in the air. This is very important to know as soon as possible because it affects the advice that will be given to healthcare workers about controlling the spread of infection to themselves and other patients. Similarly we need this information so we can give good quality advice to families who will have to look after each other in their own homes.
The best way to obtain this information is to ask patients who get pandemic flu soon (in August, September and October) to help us by agreeing to give a daily nose swab sample for just over one week so we can see how much virus is in the nose day by day and how quickly this disappears. At the same time we will take samples from hard surfaces in a patient's room or home and sample the air using a special filter device. We can then work out how much virus is being excreted, how long the 'danger period' is, whether surfaces are more or less important than the air that we breathe (in terms of catching the virus) and if we can advise on a 'safe distance' from the patient, beyond which there is relatively little chance of catching the illness.
Observational Model: Case-Only, Time Perspective: Prospective
Novel (H1N1) Influenza
Leicester University Hospitals NHS Trust
University of Nottingham
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:16:46-0400
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A subtype of INFLUENZA A VIRUS comprised of the surface proteins hemagglutinin 1 and neuraminidase 1. The H1N1 subtype was responsible for the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.
Species of the genus INFLUENZAVIRUS B that cause HUMAN INFLUENZA and other diseases primarily in humans. Antigenic variation is less extensive than in type A viruses (INFLUENZA A VIRUS) and consequently there is no basis for distinct subtypes or variants. Epidemics are less likely than with INFLUENZA A VIRUS and there have been no pandemics. Previously only found in humans, Influenza B virus has been isolated from seals which may constitute the animal reservoir from which humans are exposed.
Membrane glycoproteins from influenza viruses which are involved in hemagglutination, virus attachment, and envelope fusion. Fourteen distinct subtypes of HA glycoproteins and nine of NA glycoproteins have been identified from INFLUENZA A VIRUS; no subtypes have been identified for Influenza B or Influenza C viruses.
Infection of domestic and wild fowl and other BIRDS with INFLUENZA A VIRUS. Avian influenza usually does not sicken birds, but can be highly pathogenic and fatal in domestic POULTRY.
A genus of the family ORTHOMYXOVIRIDAE comprising viruses similar to types A and B but less common, more stable, more homogeneous, and lacking the neuraminidase protein. They have not been associated with epidemics but may cause mild influenza. Influenza C virus is the type species.
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