New York, Washington: (Agencies: 2/5/2009): In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the current illness is an "unusual" combination of human and swine flu genes, but it lacks the genetic power of last century’s pandemic, which was one of the worst in history. At the same time, Dr Michael Ryan, WHO Director of Global Alert has said though there is no evidence of the swine flu virus spreading in a sustained way outside North America, he would still propose that a pandemic is imminent because the disease is spreading.
The WHO is sending 2.4m courses of antiviral treatment to 72 nations around the world, Dr Ryan said, among them many developing countries.
But in cases of the virus outside Mexico, the effects do not appear to be severe.
Echoing the sentiment at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in his country , U.S. President Barack Obama said scientists aren’t yet sure if the current outbreak is actually worse than "ordinary flus," which strike the public every year.
However, in his weekly radio address, he added that the US was taking "all necessary precautions" to ensure it was prepared if the virus developed into "something worse".
Scientists meanwhile say Swine Flu is not a new illness and is well known to them, but the new strain, A/H1N1 is at pandemic proportions and is easily spread by humans which is new. A version of Swine Flu is seen every year and is often combined with Bird Flu, but the newest version A/H1N1 also contains a strain of a human flu virus.
Several cases of infection were reported in California before the outbreak in Mexico. The Wall Street Journal reported that from December 2005 to January 2009, there were 12 atypical strains tested at the CDC that had the virus.
The potentially deadly virus is a hybrid drawn from strains found in pigs, birds and humans.