The Pendleton Panther

H1N1 Found to Attack Deep Within the Lungs

Posted on: December 10, 2009

CT Scan of an infected Lung. The Dark Spots are the infected areas.

Scientists have recently discovered and confirmed the fact that in the event a person does die from the infamous H1N1 virus, their lungs have been taken over and damaged severely. This is eerily similar in damage to the flu pandemics that killed millions of people back in 1957 and 1918. The New York Office of Chief Medical Examiner had reviewed the many “medical records, autopsy reports and microscopic slides of 34 people with H1N1 who died between May 15 and July 9, 2009, during the early days of the pandemic.” (CNN) The reports claimed to have found inflammation and damage in the lungs that went all the to the alveoli. The alveoli are tiny sacs in the furthest reaches of the lung’s airways that are vital to gas exchange with the blood. In the typical flu, only the upper part of the body’s airways are attacked. This new finding demonstrates the voracious nature of the H1N1 flu virus. It has the ability of “infecting and causing inflammation and destruction of cells from the trachea, all the way down into smaller cells of the lungs. The cells of the lung get directly attacked by the virus.” (CNN) The damage prevents the lungs from functioning properly and end up contributing to a secondary infection. Most people end up dying from a secondary infection of bacterial pneumonia.


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