Swine flu spread was much wider than first thought, scientists say

June 8, 2011

The swine flu outbreak of winter 2009-2010 was much more widespread than was previously realised, research suggests.

Blood samples taken from Scottish adults in March last year at the end of the H1N1 showed that almost half were carrying antibodies to the virus.

Most of the 44 per cent who tested positive had contracted , although some had acquired immunity from a previous bout of flu, or had been vaccinated.

The research, led by the University of Edinburgh, shows that many cases of swine flu went unreported. Only 100,000 people consulted their GP regarding flu, out of about two million who are believed to have contracted the virus.

People living in the most deprived areas were twice as likely to have contracted the virus. Scientists add that it is possible that many people who were vaccinated against the virus were already immune.

Almost 1600 adults from the east of Scotland and Glasgow, who are participants in the Generation Scotland Scottish Family Health Study voluntary health scheme, took part.

The research, carried out in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde, Health Protection Scotland and West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre, was funded by the Chief Scientist Office and published in the journal .

Professor Mark Woolhouse of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Infectious Diseases, who led the study, said: "This flu spread very quickly. Fortunately most cases were mild but this also means that they weren't reported. Testing for antibodies to flu could be invaluable in tracking future and targeting vaccination to those groups who most need it."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

The 'love hormone' may quiet tinnitus

September 23, 2016

(HealthDay)—People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears—called tinnitus—may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests.

Bile acid uptake inhibitor prevents NASH / fatty liver in mice

September 21, 2016

Drugs that interfere with bile acid recycling can prevent several aspects of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) in mice fed a high-fat diet, scientists from Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of ...

New therapeutic target for Crohn's disease

September 20, 2016

Research from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) identifies a promising new target for future drugs to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, published today in Cell Reports, also indicates ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2011
Impossible. According to my Conservative friends, swine flue was a myth crated by the Vaccine producers and the U.N. to suck as much money from the American People as possible.

Swine Flue according to them, was a complete hoax... Like Evolution, and the story that no WMD were found in Iraq.

WMD were found, the "Liberevil" media are just covering it up.
Or so they maintain.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.