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Swine Flu 


Swine flu has recently been classified as a global pandemic by WHO (World Health Organization). The expected number of people becoming infected worldwide over the next 24 months is 2 billion people. This is about double the average yearly number of influenza infections. This increased number of infections is due to the fact that this strain of influenza A (H1N1) is new and so as a global population there is little or no herd immunity. 

Signs and Symptoms

Signs of influenza A (H1N1) are flu-like. They include: fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes also gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea.

Variations in infections

The severity of the virus is wide ranging from very mild infections right through to severe disease and death. Most people infected so far have had a mild infection and have recovered at home without need for hospitalization and specific treatments. Those who have died or had severe symptoms have mostly had underlying disease or a weakened immune system. 


The recommended treatment for the virus is currently Tamiflu and countries are currently working to increase their stock levels in order to have stores of enough to combat the predicted rise in infections over the winter. There is, at present, no effective vaccine available for the virus although there is currently a huge global effort to produce one. There is the potential to manufacture up to 4.9 billion doses; however, this is mainly dependent on achieving full global manufacturing capacity.  

Spread of disease

Swine flu first originated in Mexico and from there spread rapidly to North America and then across the world. Regions that have been most affected have been in North America and Europe although there have now been large numbers of cases confirmed in more distant countries such as Japan and Australia. 

Global Impact

A global pandemic such as this necessitates large amounts of worldwide communication and interface. Many of the countries who will begin to become affected by the pandemic will include developing countries that cannot effectively support a comprehensive public health response and are consequently relying on aid from the WHO.

Translation and Interpreting

In order for all of the factors discussed above to be addressed in the most effective way and to minimize the global impact of the virus there is a large need for translators and interpreters. At TJC-Global we have over 20 years experience in translation and interpreting services in over 180 languages and dialects. Our experienced linguists can offer translation services for documents, research, histories and records and interpreting for conferences, clinical meetings, consultations, symposiums and other settings. This can help ensure that language is not a barrier in the fight against the swine flu pandemic.


For more information about our medical language services, please see our Medical Translation and Medical Interpreting pages


This article was originally published on the TJC Global Blog

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