Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

'Hibernating' research studies on standby to tackle next flu pandemic

The University of Liverpool is improving the UK's preparedness for another influenza pandemic through its involvement in an innovative network of research studies 'hibernating' on standby ready to be activated if an outbreak ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Swine flu outbreak kills nine in Morocco

An outbreak of swine flu in Morocco has left nine people dead in the past week, the kingdom's health minister said Saturday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Swine flu kills 40 in western India

At least 40 people have died and more than 1,000 have tested positive for swine flu since the beginning of this year in a western Indian state popular with foreigners, authorities said Friday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

The flu is coming: Are we ready for the next pandemic?

Even though many people dismiss and misunderstand it—calling everything from a cold to a stomach bug "the flu"— influenza actually claims 12,000 to 56,000 lives in the U.S. every year. And that's in a normal flu season.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Taking the jab (and the chill) out of vaccination

Scientists in Cairns (Australia) and Cardiff (Wales) have taken an important first step towards solving two problems that hinder access to vaccines: they need to be kept cool, and no one likes needles.

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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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