Influenza viruses have been with us for a long time, the first description of the disease caused by the virus is scripted by Hippocrates during 412 BC. Influenza viruses since then have been seen to infect many animal species along with Humans. 

Sometimes, the virus jumps across different species of animals with catastrophic consequences. This viral illness causes infection in the upper and lower respiratory tract of the host, which is accompanied by symptoms such as nasal secretions, chills, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea. 

In early march 1918, the first influenza pandemic (also called Spanish Flu) happened and was counted as the deadliest pandemic in history ever. 

In March and April 2009, a mutant strain of H1N1 emerged and resulted in the outbreak of H1N1 influenza (swine flu). On June 2009, WHO (World Health Organisation) declared  H1N1 flu to be a pandemic. 

Influenza viruses till date remain one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

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Classification and Type of Influenza Viruses

Influenza virus belongs to the family of Orthomyxoviridae which has a negative-sense, single-stranded, and segmented RNA genome. 

Influenza virus can be divided into 4 subtypes: A, B, C, and D. Although Influenza A and B are known to cause seasonal flu, only Influenza A is responsible for flu Pandemics.

Influenza A is an enveloped virus meaning that a lipid bilayer (envelope) surrounds the viral capsid. It is further classified based on the antigenicity of its two surface glycoproteins, hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N).

Till now, 18 hemagglutinin (H1 to H18) and 11 neuraminidase (N1 to N11) variants have been identified. Among these H1N1, H2N2, and H3N2 are the main subtypes of the influenza A virus causing infection in humans.

8 Interesting Influenza A (H1N1) Facts You May Not Know

  1. Influenza A(H1N1) is a highly contagious viral infection and is contracted through sneezing, coughing, and close contact with an infected person.
  1. Influenza A(H1N1) symptoms are very similar to seasonal flu symptoms. Symptoms typically appear within 3-5 days after exposure to the virus.
  1. Influenza A(H1N1) is not transmissible by eating properly handled and cooked pork or other pork products.
  1. H1NI can also infect other animals such as turkeys and ducks.
  1. Severe complications associated with swine flu can lead to bacterial pneumonia bronchitis, respiratory failure, and worsening underlying medical conditions.
  1. HIN1 infection is more severe in people having a debilitated immune system such as young children, old people, or any chronic disease of the immune system.
  1. It was estimated that 151,700-575,400 deaths happened worldwide during the first year of the virus outbreak.
  1. People infected with HIN1 infection should not take antiviral medicines without the supervision of a doctor as it may lead to side effects. Also, viral infection goes on its own in the case of people who have a good immune system.

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Influenza A H1N1 Testing at MIS lab

Swine flu (H1N1 influenza) is highly contagious and can survive on hard surfaces for upto 24 hours. Hence, it is important to follow preventive measures and avoid contact with surfaces contaminated with H1N1 flu virus. Along with vaccination, the use of antiviral-treated materials have been found to cause a significant impact in controlling the spread of viral infection and reducing the risks of cross-infection.

At MIS, Influenza A Virus (subtypes H1N1 and H3N2) is used as a test microorganism while evaluating the antiviral efficacy of varied sample materials. The antiviral-treated materials tested at MIS are mainly textiles, plastics, coatings, and disinfectants.

ISO 18184, JIS L 1922, EN 16777, ISO 21702, EN 14476, and ASTM E1053 are antiviral efficacy tests performed at MIS against Influenza A Viruses (H1N1 and H3N2), Human coronavirus (229E) and many other strains.

To know more about our antibacterial and antiviral testing services, talk to our experts now.


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