What is the H1N1 Virus?
Novel influenza A (H1N1) is a new flu virus of swine origin that was first detected in April, 2009. The virus is infecting people and is spreading from person-to-person, sparking a growing outbreak of illness in the United States. An increasing number of cases are being reported internationally as well. Itís thought that novel influenza A (H1N1) flu spreads in the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread; mainly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick with the virus.
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Itís uncertain at this time how severe this novel H1N1 outbreak will be in terms of illness and death compared with other influenza viruses. Because this is a new virus, most people will not have immunity to it, and illness may be more severe and widespread as a result. In addition, currently there is no vaccine to protect against this novel H1N1 virus. CDC anticipates that there will be more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths associated with this new virus in the coming days and weeks. As fall 2009 approaches, we recommend that you prepare before flu season begins. Suppliers will quickly be depleted of their stock if a major pandemic occurs.