V K Vijayan
Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 33 Issue 4 November 2008 pp 475-482
Since 1918, influenza virus has been one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality, especially among young children. Though the commonly circulating strain of the virus is not virulent enough to cause mortality, the ability of the virus genome to mutate at a very high rate may lead to the emergence of a highly virulent strain that may become the cause of the next pandemic. Apart from the influenza virus strain circulating in humans (H1N1 and H3N2), the avian influenza H5N1 H7 and H9 virus strains have also been reported to have caused human infections, H5N1 H7 and H9 have shown their ability to cross the species barrier from birds to humans and further replicate in humans. This review addresses the biological and epidemiological aspects of influenza virus and efforts to have a control on the virus globally.
Volume 34 Issue 3 September 2009 pp 481-489 Review
At this critical juncture when the world has not yet recovered from the threat of avian influenza, the virus has returned in the disguise of swine influenza, a lesser known illness common in pigs. It has reached pandemic proportions in a short time span with health personnel still devising ways to identify the novel H1N1 virus and develop vaccines against it. The H1N1 virus has caused a considerable number of deaths within the short duration since its emergence. Presently, there are no effective methods to contain this newly emerged virus. Therefore, a proper and clear insight is urgently required to prevent an outbreak in the future and make preparations that may be planned well in advance. This review is an attempt to discuss the historical perspective of the swine flu virus, its epidemiology and route of transmission to better understand the various control measures that may be taken to fight the danger of a global pandemic.