We have heard a lot about the H1N1 flu virus (originally referred to as “swine flu”) since it first appeared in North America this past spring. After causing several deaths in Mexico, it showed up in the U.S. in April, then in Canada about a month later.
On June 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway, and we were warned that a mutation could produce an outbreak to rival global influenzas of the past.
While severe illness and death has been reported with this virus, most people who have contracted H1N1 have recovered without requiring medical treatment. But no one really knows how severe the approaching pandemic will be, so it makes sense to have all the facts about this illness to lessen our personal risk of infection or transmission as we enter the flu season.