May 8, 2009

Swine flu

Thought that swine flu turns from bird to pigs then to human. I was wrong. Below is concise information from 'been cut to conform the license.


Swine flu: What you need to know
Updated 18:42 29 April 2009 by Debora MacKenzie
For similar stories, visit the Epidemics and Pandemics Topic Guide

Will it spread to where I live?
That depends, again, on two different things: whether the virus is transported to your region, and how efficiently it spreads between people.
The big question is how efficiently it spreads once it lands. From the number of cases in Mexico and the fact that those infected in the US had not been in contact with pigs or each other, we know that it can spread from human to human, and has done so for weeks at least. Investigators are conducting tests to see whether people who contacted known cases have also been infected to try to assess how easily it spreads. Preliminary observations in the US suggest it has spread readily to contacts of known cases.
Similar swine flu viruses have jumped from pigs to people before and have always petered out without causing a pandemic because they were not good enough at spreading in people. This virus may do the same thing.
Does this virus mean I shouldn't eat pork?
No. This virus is named swine flu because one of its surface proteins is most similar to viruses that usually infect pigs, and the whole thing is of a type that has been spreading in North American pigs for years. But this particular virus is spreading in people and we don't yet know if it infects pigs. In any case, cooking kills the virus. Wash your hands after handling meat.

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