There are many forms of influenza and not all are life threatening, most cases can be treated – so there is no need for panic! The more aware of the situation you are the less likely you are to contract the infection.
This graph shows the levels of outbreak of a certain disease. Over the centuries humans have been under constant battle from viruses. These viruses are generated from animals that fall sick and go un-noticed or they could just be simple carriers of the infection. We all know that rabbits and koalas and other wildlife creatures carry diseases but yet we live in harmony with these animals. We don’t bother them and they don’t bother us.
Level 1 is always in circulation in animals of the world. Wild animals will contract an infection and carry it to a different location or spread it to a different animal. In the wild this is a common occurrence between species but some animals are prone to infection and some are immune to the certain infection, if or when the infection is spread to a host that will catch this disease the infection will mutate within the host. When this mutation takes place in a certain animal the level is raised to level 2 on the scale.
The host could be aware of its illness and it may kill the animal or it may not, this all depends of the animals resistance of the infection, every animal is different even in the same species. It all comes down to the genetic make up of the animal.
Bird Flu was the recent outbreak before the Swine Flu and as dangerous as that was it only reached level 3 on the pandemic scale. There has been multiple out breaks in the last 100 years and they seem to sweep the globe, mutating and causing humans harm. Foot & Mouth from sheep brought every country into deep concern. Transport, commerce, and general life was interrupted with disinfectant mats and vehicles being sprayed as they traveled from county to county and from country to country.
Level 3-5 are the worst stages of an outbreak, these are the stages where the infection has a host and is mutating and getting ready to infect a new host, such as humans. Again as level 1 and 2 there can be carriers and immumity in different animals. Their could be an animal such as a bird that catches this infection but does not become infected itself, these are carriers of the disease. Birds can fly making the infection impossible to stop from spreading, especially if it goes un-noticed. Not all infections can jump from host to host, between the levels 3-5 you would have to be in contact with the host, such as the swine flu it traveled from pig to human and then human to human. Airplane travel spread the disease from Mexico around the world. When the people got home to their countries they spread it by shaking hands with friends or hugging or kissing.
Levels 3 and 4 are the stages that the virus is getting ready to take on the world, it infects the host and adapts to the DNA of the animal. When the virus has all the information it needs it will start to attack the host from the inside. If this goes untreated it will consume the host and ultimately kill the animal. The late stages of level 4 the virus is ready to spread from animal to humans, when this happens the alarm is raised to level 5 on the pandemic scale. Like the animals in levels 1-5 there can be carriers and people that are immune to it depending again on the genetic make up of the human. It will not infect everyone and not everyone could be a carrier, but because of the lack of knowledge of the genetic make up of the virus itself, nobody could tell you for sure, who it will effect or who is most likely to contract the disease.
This is when the virus mutates again in its new host, after killing off its old host it has a new genetic make up to copy and destroy, when it accomplishes this stage in the later stages of level 5 it can become air borne. When it becomes air borne level six is imposed resulting in a wide spread pandemic. Not all pandemics are life threatening, such as the common cold is a wide spread pandemic, but it can be treated, so can the swine flu and any other pandemic.
An infection becomes air borne by humans and animals that sneeze or cough. The virus mixes with antibodies and mutates in our system and when we sneeze or cough it releases it into the air. After the infection has mutated in our systems with our antibodies it can survive in the air. It has taken on our ability to survive in our atmosphere, this is what makes the virus dangerous, instead of touching a host you can become infected by just breathing it in. This is why the whole scale system was imposed, it allows us to become aware of the virus and take action accordingly. Even in the latest stages of level 6 there is NO NEED TO PANIC , there are vaccines and medications to prevent & treat infection, as well as preventative- measures to reduce the threat of becoming infected, and just like all the other stages there are people that will be immune to the infection.
How do you prevent being infected….?
#1 – HAND AWARENESS!!! – the most common way of getting infected by ANY pathogen is thru your “dirty” hands touchiung your eyes nose or mouth. WASH YOUR HANDS! and keep your hands outta your eyes nose or mouth 😉
#2 – KEEP FIT – It is common knowledge that people who eat right, get exercise & plenty of sleep have better immunity towards disease.
#3 – DON’T STRESS – Make sure to keep stress levels down to a minimum. Stress releases hormones within your body. These stress hormones can be harmful to your body if kept at high & sustained levels. Prolonged levels of stress can depress & weaken your immune system – that will reduce your resistance to pathogens. – Do some yoga! 🙂