Flu Virus H1N1 (Swine) May Still Deal Its Deadliest Blows

Researchers Continue To Look For Better Understanding of How Influenza affects the Immune System

As the summer draws to a close, scientists and doctors from around the world fully expect the upcoming “flu season” in the United States and other countries to continue its spread of the H1N1 (swine) flu virus as the World Health Organization has already declared it to be a pandemic (which means how much it has spread, not the severity of the strain).5

In the meantime, researchers have been working on figuring out various aspects of that particular virus, including why the influenza virus can be more deadly in some people than others. This is of particular concern because it has been found recently that the H1N1 swine flu virus may be more potent than was previously thought.1

Most seasonal viral flus affect cells in the upper respiratory system, whereas it has been found that the strain of H1N1 swine flu has the ability to infect the lower, deep lung cells that creates a more lethal form of the flu.

"There is a misunderstanding about this virus," says Kawaoka, a professor of pathobiological sciences at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and a leading authority on influenza. "People think this pathogen may be similar to seasonal influenza. This study shows that is not the case. There is clear evidence the virus is different than seasonal influenza."1, 2

In the meantime, researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have found clues as to why the flu virus is more severe in some people and not in others.3

When looking at the immune systems of pediatric patients who were seriously ill with influenza, they found a significant decrease in the response of a particular set of immune proteins within the immune system called TLRs (Toll-like receptors) that work to fight off infection. They believe that this may cause the immune system to “freeze up” and inhibit its ability to fight off the secondary (and lethal) bacterial infections that cause illnesses like pneumonia.

"Despite major medical advances since the devastating flu outbreak of 1918 and 1919, influenza virus infection remains a very serious threat," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, "and the current swine flu outbreak is a grim reminder of this fact. The work by Dr. Sullivan and colleagues brings us a step closer to understanding exactly what goes wrong in some people who get the flu, so, ultimately, physicians can develop more effective treatment strategies."3, 4

Part of the research is determining how supplementation of various vitamins, minerals and herbs can boost the immune system to help more susceptible and at-risk individuals substantially improve their chances of resisting infections. All of these work on a molecular level to enable each part of the immune system to work like it is supposed to when undergoing viral and bacterial attack.

Products such as A-Z Immune Booster contains clinical supplemental amounts of Zinc and Beta-Carotene, along with other important immune system boosters such as blueberry powder, elderberry extract, and honeysuckle. These all work together to create a powerful combination to help the immune system perform at its very best!


1. University of Wisconsin (2009, July 14). Swine Flu: H1N1 Virus More Dangerous Than Suspected, Except To Survivors Of The 1918 Pandemic Flu Virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/07/090713212231.htm
2. 1.Itoh, Y. et al. In vitro and in vivo characterization of new swine-origin H1N1 influenza viruses. Nature, July 13, 2009 DOI: 10.1038/news.2009.680.
3. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2009, May 5). Scientists Learn Why The Flu May Turn Deadly: Influenza Virus 'Paralyzes' The Immune System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/05/090504141843.htm
4. 1.Meredith L. Heltzer, Susan E. Coffin, Kelly Maurer, Asen Bagashev, Zhe Zhang, Jordan S. Orange, and Kathleen E. Sullivan. Immune dysregulation in severe influenza. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 2009; DOI: 10.1189/jlb.1108710.
5. http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/. 

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