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What Is Swine Flu?


What is swine flu?

It is a contagious influenza A that infects humans.

It was originally associated with pigs (1930's), and recurrences have been associated with animal contact at state fairs (2012).

The 2009 pandemic was primarily the H1N1 strain, although there are reports of genes not only from North American pigs, but also European and Asian pigs, as well as genes from human seasonal influenza and bird flu (flu.gov, CDC, August 2009).

The 2009 swine flu pandemic was thus called a quadruple reassortant virus.

While the origin is not irrefutably established, the first published cases were in Mexico.

These viruses spread with extreme speed throughout the world, creating pandemic levels of contagion within three months.

Viral transmission in this case, occurs by exposure to coughing and sneezing, or touching a contaminated surface then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth, according to the CDC.

People can be contagious 24 hours before they become symptomatic.

This viral pandemic varied from mild to lethal, although it was not as lethal as seasonal influenza.

It also affected different groups of people and generating additional symptoms.

If you are experiencing an infection, please consult with your health care provider.

Please check with the CDC for updates and discussions of what is swine flu.

A(H1N1) (Swine flu) virus illustration
A(H1N1) (Swine...
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones on January 24, 2013

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