Get all of your questions answered about the swine flu, from common symptoms to treatment options. Swine influenza swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus an influenza type A H1N1 virus was first isolated from a pig in Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change constantly.
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This image illustrates the very beginning stages of an influenza flu infection. Most experts think that influenza viruses spread mainly through small droplets containing influenza virus. These droplets are expelled into the air when people infected with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. Once in the air, these small infectious droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. This image shows what happens after these influenza viruses enter the human body. The viruses attach to cells within the nasal passages and throat i. Once the key enters the lock, the influenza virus is then able to enter and infect the cell.
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Researchers in China have identified an influenza virus called G4 that can infect both pigs and humans. When different strains of a virus occupy the same animal, they can swap genes to create new strains with the potential to infect new hosts. There is currently no evidence that G4 can pass from person to person. However, the presence of genes from the H1N1 pandemic strain suggests that it might develop this ability in the future.