Novel H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people across the U.S and here in Utah. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009, and is spreading from person-to-person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread

Major pharmaceutical companies are preparing new vaccines to fight the so called swine flu, under the supervision of the FDA. These drugs are expected to be ready in the fall, ahead of the normal winter flu season.

Jean Brown Research, a national leader in clinical drug research and headquartered in Salt Lake City, is doing its part to help prevent the spread of this flu by participating in these new vaccine trials. They will administer the vaccines to local volunteer patients, then monitor the outcome and report their findings in accordance with FDA guidelines. “These studies will potentially help find an effective and safe preventative vaccine before the next flu season” according to founder and president, Jean Brown. “Our work is key in responding to this serious health threat.”

Children between 6 months and nine years old, and seniors over 65 are the most at risk. “These are the groups that are the focus of our studies” continued Jean Brown. “We need healthy volunteers to participate for the good of our community.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that 8 Utahns have died from H1N1 flu this year. Utah has “one of, if not the most, active outbreaks in the country,” state epidemiologist Robert Rolfs told the newspaper. The reasons are unclear, which prompts concern among health professionals. The history of this kind of flu outbreak indicates that many more people could contract the virus during the winter flu season.

The CDC website indicates that symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Like seasonal flu, severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

Matt Longson
Jean Brown Research
phone 801.261.2000