Five judges of the Supreme Court have been affected by Swine Flu, caused by the H1N1 virus.

About Swine Flu:

  • Swine flu is a disease of pigs that can, in rare cases, be passed to humans. It is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by one of many Influenza A viruses.
  • Transmission:The disease is spread among pigs by direct and indirect contact, aerosols, and from pigs that are infected but do not have symptoms. 
  • H1N1 is a seasonal infection which usually occurs every year with two peaks (One in January to March and other between July to September) in India.
  • Subtypes 
    • Most commonly, swine flu is of the H1N1 influenza subtype. However, swine flu viruses can sometimes come from other subtypes, such as H1N2, H3N1, and H3N2.
    • H1N1 has primarily two strains - California and Michigan. From 2009 to 2016 California strain was dominant in India but since then cases of Michigan strain are observed more.  
  • Symptoms of swine flu include coughs, chills, and aches, similar to seasonal flu.
  • A vaccine has been produced to protect humans against the H1N1 strain of swine flu. This was introduced following a pandemic of swine flu in 2009 and 2010. 
  • Further Oseltamivir and Zanamivir drugs continue to be gold standard against the swine flu infection.

What does H1N1 mean?

  • The designation “H1N1” indicates unique traits, which exhibit characteristics that identify the virus to the immune system and allows for attachment and replication of the virus.
  • The “H” (hemagglutinin) and the “N” (neuraminidases) are both proteins that are found on the outer shell or envelope of the virus. 
  • Different viruses have different hemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins. 
  • There are 16(H1 to H16) known types of hemagglutinin and 9(N1 to N9) known types of neuraminidase, which gives 144 different possible combinations of these proteins.