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August 25th, 2009
03:51 PM ET

FAQs on H1N1 Swine Flu

Novel H1N1 Flu in Humans

Novel H1N1 Flu in Humans

Centers for Disease Control

What is novel H1N1 (swine flu)?
Novel H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway.

Why is novel H1N1 virus sometimes called “swine flu”?
This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a "quadruple reassortant" virus.

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Filed under: H1N1
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. LJRoy

    Whether I have the swine flu vaccine will depend on whether the ingredients that make the vaccine are ethical or not. If it unethical, I'd rather get sick or die from it, thank you very much.

    I believe the push for madatory vaccination comes down, as usual, the manufacturer earning millions of dollars.

    From what I understand eating ham, pork or bacon won't give you swine flu (but may be just as bad for you anyway). Of course, some people can't eat piggies anyway for religious reasons.

    I think the best way is to stay away from every other human being as much as possible til this thing blows over.

    August 26, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  2. Judy Belanger

    I am still upset about John McCain at his town hall meeting. He was sick and blowing his nose and not covering his mouth. Then he hands his microphone over to a lady. Never washed his hands. This is a problem, when our goverment is spreading sickness. He should have stayed home, as advised.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:38 am |
  3. jennifer

    It's always about the money. Who profits from these mandatory innoculations? Only the manufacturers and who are they? Two companies who have already shipped toxic doses that luckily got caughty by another country which tested the batch and found it deadly. Today, however, the manufacturers are immune (ironically) from any ill effects of their vaccinations. Do they know how these shots will affect the people who get them? No. Just like the Gardisil fiasco, citizens will die "for the greater good ." If you look at current deaths, more occur from the treatment of cancer and other ailments than the ailments themselves. Certainly, obituaries more often state the Cause of Death to be "pneumonia" than cancer, even though the patient most undoubtedly was being treated for cancer originally.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  4. Cindy Lou (Florida)

    I am hearing a lot of discussion as to who should get the vaccine to defend themselves against the H1N1 (swine flu). I am terribly allergic to eggs and have heard that I cannot get the vaccine due to my allergy. Have you heard that people with egg allergies cannot receive this vaccine? If this is accurate, then is there any other medicine available for me to defend myself from this terrible flu along with the "washing hands, don't share food or drinks, stay away from crowds, etc."? I am really concerned about this !
    Thank you

    August 26, 2009 at 12:09 am |
  5. gerald tetrault

    i don't know if this produc is available in the usa yet. alda pharmaceutical have these products that kill h1n1 in 15 secs .it has a patent u.s.a . for it's tr36 (bc) no other product incl. purell can do this. ALDA has been chosen to keep the 2010 olympics free of any unpleasant or health problems from occuring.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  6. Brad

    Why is no one talking about the Swine Flu vaccine made by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech? It is the only vaccine in the world to complete its trials in humans (last week - no other companies are anywhere close to this point), and, most importantly, it is effective with just one shot, not two as those being developed here. This needs to be covered; hopefully we can benefit from this vaccine.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  7. KIm

    Rapid influenza antigen tests= Unknown sensitivity and specificity
    DFA or IFA = Unknown sensitivity and specificity
    Viral Cultures = May not yeild timely results for clinical management. Why is it called the quadruple reassortant virus ? Has the genes from 4 influenza virus types. What's in tamiflu and relenza ? That's supposed to help with symtoms the first two days. If you can't run a test that's sure, then how do you know the vaccine will work ? I'm getting the impression they don't have a vaccine and this is the new quadruple reassortant virus. RT-PCR and put it on ice doctor ! Mail it in to see before 72 hours and please test with a synthetic tip. Mandatory vaccinations ? Your choice in America but sounds like a roll of the dice on cure and vaccination that works ! Go ask Dr. Gupta and thanks for the creative picture. At least we know what it looks like !

    August 25, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  8. GREGORY

    The government knows this swine flu is very dangerous.why haven't we started the vaccinations now?

    August 25, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  9. Mary

    I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. What are the risks and should I get the vaccine?

    August 25, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  10. Didi Kenya

    What is novel H1N1 (swine flu)? There's growing concern and "smoking gun" trail that this is a lab created virus unleashed on the public by BigPharma to make money. Why not investigate that!

    August 25, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  11. Blanca

    It seems the media loves to report just one side of the story. Their estimated figures of those that will contract swine flu this flue season. But not once have I heard stories about their side effects or what happend in the 70's outbreak of swine flu when thousands of people contracted the neurological disorder of Guillain Barre Syndrome. As a recent patient recovering from this disorder that completely paralyzes your body from head to two I can say, I would never get the flu shot nor have my children get the flu shot. The media should let the public know the risks involved as well and not just use scare tactics.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  12. GREGORY

    What the pubic needs know is what commonly use household cleaners can be used to kill the virus.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  13. Didi Kenya

    The baxter vaccination is DANGEROUS! Dr. Sanjay are you really going to risk your children with it?
    Why is alternatives not looked into – ie homeopathy, natural medicine, etc.
    In the 1918 Spanish Flu the homepathic hospitals had a 98% cure rate- far outstripping conventional medicines' record.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  14. GREGORY

    Hygiene is the answer, this is going to a problem in the retail business.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  15. Sara Ray

    I would much rather take my chances with the swine flu then with the vaccine. Building our immune systems through healthy eating and exercise is always the best defense against..well, just about anything. Fruits and veggies are our best friends.

    August 25, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  16. Joe G. (Illinois)

    Hygiene, Christian/Conservative Morals/Behavior including not eating scavenger fish, pork and pork by products could prevent much of all that’s bad and being talked about in the world. But no.. Some people want hell on earth, but without anything that might hurt them!!! Go figure them liberals! Have you heard about the Health Care debacle they are having? They want the Abortionist indifferent president to be their leader but then fear to hand over their livelihood into his hands. I guess they know something about him!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  17. J

    Every day there are new “impending” headlines about swine flu. They are clearly laying the groundwork to force the public into mandatory vaccinations with their new concoctions. I’m quite certain that I have had swine flu. Many I know have had verified cases of swine flu, young to old. It ran its course & we are all alive. We must ask ourselves, “Why do they appear to be blowing this way out of proportion”? Why are they so bent on filling us with new cocktails of unknown, “fast-tracked” manufactured “vaccinations”, full of what exactly? What is the track record of vaccinations and immunization? Have they caused the explosion of autism, ADD/ADHD & multitudes of neurological disorders over the past 30-40 some odd years? With the current estimated U.S. population of well over 305,529,237 MILLION, 522 supposed deaths coupled together with those of District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, without even taking these countries’ populations into account, 522 supposed deaths, while tragic, DO NOT EVEN COME CLOSE TO 1% OF THE POPULATION. 1 percent of 1 million = 10,000 – You do the math… THE NUMBERS TO QUANTIFY MASS, MANDATORY VACCINATIONS JUST AREN’T ADDING UP ARE THEY? BE WATCHFUL, BECAUSE WE’RE 1 STEP AWAY FORCED VACCINATIONS OF OUR CHILDREN IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS WITHOUT PARENTAL APPROVAL ALONG WITH MANDATORY ENFORCEMENT ACROSS THE BOARD, NATIONALLY. What will happen to those of us who refuse? Can you say, “FEMA Deathcamps”?

    August 25, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  18. Annie Kate

    Hope this swine flu doesn't turn out to be the killer the 1918 Spanish flu was. It does seem like the health departments are expecting a fairly large number of people to contract the disease though. There are some cases here in my state already reported. Not sure if that is true or just rumor growing bigger each time it is told.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm |