People might have just begun to stop hearing about the bird flu, but just as one door closes another one opens. And this one could be even more scary than the last. A new flu strain found in New England harbor seals could prove to be very threatening and researchers are saying the problem has potential to cause a pandemic.
The Seal Flu Pandemic – The Research
The researchers are cautioning that the new seal flu should be treated with a high level of regard and that the virus has been attacking animals, but has potential to reach humans as well doing significant immune system damage. They say it needs to be monitored to prevent the potential of an epidemic just as bad as the bird flu.
Dr. Anne Moscona, who edited the report, says “There is a concern that we have a new mammalian-transmissible virus to which humans haven’t been exposed yet. It’s a combination we haven’t seen in disease before.”
Experts are saying that this flu strain could someday pose a threat to people and people should keep their immune systems in hopes of avoiding any dangerous possibilities. Doctors are saying that while transmission between humans and harbor seals is unlikely due to the fact they aren’t often in contact, it is still possible, and the virus could find other ways to get to people causing significant damage.For example, he said, the strain might pass from seals to birds, and expand, which could cause the flu virus to spread more easily in humans.
Preventative Measures to Avoid the Immune System Impact
Experts are mentioning that even putting the bird flu aside, this particular type of flu that is being found in seals has most in common with H1N1, which is also known as the swine flu that came to light in 2009, and the virus does have specific mutations that are known to make virus spreading to humans much more likely. What makes the seal flu so unique is that it is able to target a special protein found in the human respiratory tract, which is what gives it the potential to move between species.
Researchers are saying that seeing as North Americans have dealt with pandemics of this nature before preparations need to be put into effect to protect the immune system as soon as possible. A flu of this nature can emerge at any time, which is what makes it scary. A regular regime of vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system, as well as proper hand-washing, and just being aware of your surroundings and regular visits to your healthcare practitioner in general, can really help in the fight against any type of immune system attack, even the seal flu.