Homepage | The Virus | How it spreads | Symptoms | Complications | Prevention | Treatment | FAQ

Swine influenza is an infectious disease of of pigs caused by by type A influenza viruses (H1N1). The disease is endemic to pig populations and can be trasmitted to humans. Like ordinary human influenza there are many different types of swine influenza, the infection is constantly changing.
Why are we so concerned about swine flu?
Swine influenza infection can be serious. From December 2005 through February 2009, a total of 12 human infections with swine influenza were reported from 10 states in the United States. But in April 2005 a severe outbreak was reported in Mexico, killing more than 100 people. Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said suspected swine flu cases in his country had risen to 1,614.

How does swine influenza spread?
Human-to-human transmission of swine flu is thought to spread in the same way as seasonal flu, through coughing and sneezing.Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with influenza viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick.

There is no evidence that swine flu can be transmitted through eating meat from infected animals. However, it is essential to cook meat properly. A temperature of 70C (158F) would be sure to kill the virus.
How are swine influenza viruses different from human influenza viruses?
H1N1 is the same strain which causes seasonal outbreaks of flu in humans on a regular basis. But this latest version of H1N1 is different: it contains genetic material that is typically found in strains of the virus that affect humans, birds and swine. Flu viruses have the ability to swap genetic components with each other, and it seems likely that the new version of H1N1 resulted from a mixing of different versions of the virus, which may usually affect different species, in the same animal host.
What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans?
Symptoms of swine influenza in humans appear to be similar to those produced by standard, seasonal flu. These include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine influenza infection in people. Like seasonal influenza, swine influenza may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Terms of Use