Medical research

New discovery could phase out medications from pig intestines

The most expensive part of the pig is neither the tenderloin nor the neck chop, but part of the intestine used for medicine against blood clots. There are about 2,000 pigs required to produce a kilogram of the drug heparin, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

COVID-19 compared with other deadly viruses

The global death toll from COVID-19, which is set to pass five million, is already far worse than most other viral epidemics of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How to predict severe influenza in hospitalized patients

Published today in Nature Communications, the team from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), Alfred Health and Monash University sought to understand which patients would recover quickly ...

Vaccination

Doctor communication key to pandemic vaccine adoption

People who talk with their doctors are more likely to get vaccinated during a pandemic, according to a study of evidence collected during the "swine flu," the last pandemic to hit the U.S. before COVID-19.

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Swine influenza

Swine influenza (also called H1N1 flu, swine flu, hog flu, and pig flu) is an infection by any one of several types of swine influenza virus. Swine influenza virus (SIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.

Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human influenza, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human influenza, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection. The meat of an infected animal poses no risk of infection when properly cooked.

During the mid-20th century, identification of influenza subtypes became possible, allowing accurate diagnosis of transmission to humans. Since then, only 50 such transmissions have been confirmed. These strains of swine flu rarely pass from human to human. Symptoms of zoonotic swine flu in humans are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort.

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