How Does Swine Flu Differ From Other Types of Flu?

Dr. Greg Poland answers the question: 'How Does Swine Flu Differ From The Flu?'

ByGreg Poland, Md, Professor Of Medicine, Director, Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic
September 25, 2008, 9:56 AM

May 27, 2009 -- Question: How does swine flu differ from other types of flu?

Answer:So this virus is properly called influenza A H1N1 Swine-Origin influenza virus. So it's sort of a complicated name just to indicate that it's an influenza A. We're familiar with those they cause infections every year, but it's the unique type of influenza A that has predominantly come from swine, although there are even segments of the genes from other humans and birds in it. So we call it a quadruple reassortment type of virus that gets into your nose or your eyes or your mouth. Causes infection, causes upper airway and lower airway infection and in severe cases can cause pneumonia and unfortunately in a few cases, fortunately rare, death.

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