Viruses Are a Stubborn Mechanism of Spreading Term Paper

Pages: 2 (580 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Disease

Viruses are a stubborn mechanism of spreading disease. Viruses rarely die off, but rather go dormant for periods of time only to emerge and spread causing pandemics for new generations of people. Such is the case with the H1N1 or swine flu. This virus was originally discovered in humans in 1918 where it was also discovered to be able to mutate rapidly causing further global pandemics in both 1957 and 1968 (Girard, 2010). This virus, which originated in swine, traveled from Europe where it had been common among animals for centuries (Girard, 2010). Since then, it has adapted to humans and caused multiple pandemics through its unique ability to adapt and combine with other virus strains (Michaelis, 2009).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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It is exceptionally rare for a virus to mutate from animals to humans. In fact, it is a very complex adaptation that a virus must make. The primary reason, according to disease specialists as to why this happens, is the presence of the virus is concentrated amounts of animals, specifically commercially farmed animals (Schmidt, 2009). The theory is that under such tight conditions, viruses spread rapidly and mutate just as rapidly, reinfecting the same animals over and over again. After awhile, those working with the animals are exposed to the virus so many times that the virus finally picks up enough human DNA to mutate and move into a new host (Schmidt, 2009). Once this happens, the virus is able to spread quickly among people, who have zero immunity to this new viral strain (Schmidt, 2009). The strangest thing about the swine flu as opposed to other viruses is that it has remained stored in pigs and continually reoccurs, causing repeated outbreaks in humans, but causing little, if any, effects in pigs… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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