H1n1 Mutation Fears

WASHINGTON D.C. — Information coming out of the CDC is beginning to cause a commotion in the global health community. With the WHO attempting to assess the situation of a possible mutation of the H1N1 virus in the Ukraine it is now speculated that the United States may also be facing a resistant strain of the virus on its own shores.

It has now been more than a week since samples from the northeastern United States were sent to the CDC central offices in Atlanta, Georgia for routine processing. Although comments have been made that at least 40 of the samples sent were H1N1 confirmed, and the sequences showed no large changes or resistance to oseltamivir, there have been no updates. The absence of additional information or release of sequences, increases concerns that small changes undergoing further analysis are causing delays.

In the days post shipment, cases of H1N1 infection in the northeastern United States have increased by 15 and the reported fatalities have grown from 30 to 174. The clinical presentation of 90 of the fatalities was classical H1N1 linked hemorrhagic pneumonia, which led to the "total destruction" of both lungs. These fatal cases were hospitalized 3-7 days after disease onset, highlighting the rapid progression of the infection in a large number of patients, suggesting genetic changes in the H1N1 virus.

Although politicians and media reports continue to downplay the significance by citing a small number of lab confirmed cases or more traditional pneumonia deaths, the number of fatal hemorrhagic cases was unusually large. These deaths involve hemorrhagic pneumonia in previously health young adults.

The CDC is also reporting a disproportionate ratio of reported infection rates between Evolved and Non-Evolved in the northeastern United States. It is uncertain if fears of the resistant H1N1 mutation are related to these statistics, but no confirmation will be available until the CDC releases its reports, which are expected before the end of the year.

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