Where did the swine flu come from?



  1. 0 Votes

    Researchers say the virus probably first emerged in humans sometime in 2008. It probably had been circulating in Mexico for months but was mistaken as the regular flu until the rash of outbreaks in the spring and the identification of the new H1N1 in April 2009.

    Scientists have been working to track changes to the new flu virus, including in its history. The current strain of H1N1 originated in pigs, which are easily infected with flu viruses from other pigs, birds and humans. Pigs can become mixing pots for viruses to swap genes and mutate.

    Scientists say the gene-swapping that gave rise to the newly discovered swine flu virus happened 10 or 20 years ago, and the triple virus spread among pigs for years. But until recently, the virus wasn’t able to spread among people. It acquired that ability only last year, when the older triple virus combined again with two other pig viruses that circulated in North American and Eurasian swine.

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