What caused the 2009 swine flu?

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It was caused by a particular strain of the influenza virus, just like any other flu. This particular strain A-H1N1/09 (aka: Influenza A, Novel H1N1 or 2009 Swine Flu virus) originated in pigs (swine) but has changed itself to be infective to humans.

Swine flu is a virus that originally infected only pigs and they spread it from one infected hog to other hogs the same way it spreads in people, by direct contact or by droplets holding the virus in the air after a pig coughed or sneezed. Because pigs are physiologically very similar to humans, when they have been living closely with humans, some microbes that can infect them are able to be changed or mutated into strains that people can catch. These types of diseases that we can get from animals are called zoonotic diseases.

Pigs contract swine flu from other infected swine, particularly in pigpens and herding areas. Flu viruses from birds and people may also infect pigs. Swine influenza passes quickly among pigs, and can cause major losses for pig farmers because of the rate of illness. It is now also possible for infected people to pass swine flu back to other pigs.

Usually viruses that infect one kind of animal do not often infect others. However, if the animals are kept very closely together, it is more likely that mutations can occur that allow new strains to develop with the ability to cross from one type of animal to another. Viruses can mutate very rapidly. Since they are non-living sub-microscopic organisms (microbes), and not actually living organisms (like bacteria and microscopic fungi), they can combine with the cells of host animals and change the genetic material in those host cells to reproduce themselves. Sometimes that assimilation can also change the makeup to a new strain of virus (sub-microscopic particle microbe) which is then replicated by the damaged cells as well.

This cross-family type of mutation is called a reassortant, or sometimes reassortment, of genetic material in viruses. It has happened in the past when ducks or other birds were kept very closely together with pigs. That is how the Avian (bird) flu became a problem for people. First bird flu was mutated to a strain that could be caught by the pigs they were closely around. Once infecting the pigs, other mutations occurred that allowed their bird flu-swine crossed viruses to mutate again to viruses that people who were in close contact with the pigs infected with the bird-swine virus could catch. This kind of "cross-contamination", through mutations of the viruses infecting the physiologically similar pigs, allows new strains to develop to which people have no inherited immunity (passed down from generation to generation) or prior exposure to a similar type that would have given them cross protection.

It is considered potentially more dangerous than other types of influenza because the human population has not experienced this particular kind of Swine flu before. Therefore, it is anticipated that there will be few people with any natural resistance to it, whereas most people usually have some resistance to other strains of influenza once they are 10 years old or older. As a result of the lack of resistance, it can spread more easily and perhaps produce more severe symptoms.

The 2009 Swine Flu was doubly difficult for us to create effective vaccines (which would help to teach our immune systems how to fight the virus). This is because the new strain of virus mutated within the pigs where it could first merge genetic materials of the bird viruses and swine viruses that the pigs had been exposed to and then it become infective to humans as well, from the additional close contact of pigs and humans who cared for them (triple reassortant). The reassortant process within the pigs combined the pig genetic material, the bird genetic material, and also human genetic material. The 2009 Pandemic Swine Flu virus (A-H1N1/09) contains genetic material that is from the bird flu as well as from three swine flu virus strains (Asian, American, and European), plus the human flu virus ("quintuple reassortant"). We would have had an easier time developing our vaccine for this flu virus if it had been formed from one or the other, and not with the five types of genetic material that it currently contains. As it is, we had to start "from scratch" to grow the right kind of virus to put into the vaccines.

The whole process of infections can also work back the other way. So now we humans can get swine flu from each other, from infected pigs, and we can give it to pigs who can infect each other. In other words, because aspects of human viral strains are incorporated into the animal viral strains using the pig as a "middle man", newer viruses are developed that are able to cross the animal family boundaries.

Over crowding, of people with each other and with pigs, and pigs with each other and with other animals, are the major reasons these "reassortant" viruses can occur.

Farmers who work with swine must use very clean techniques to avoid catching and transmitting the swine flu. The CDC has guidelines for people who have these jobs or spend time around hogs, such as showing them in breed competitions. See the links below.

As with any virus, very good hygiene, including thorough hand washing, is critical after contact or close proximity.

See the related questions for steps to take to avoid contracting this virus.

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What causes swine flu?

It is caused by a virus that originated in pigs (swine) but has changed itself to be infective to humans. Eating cooked pork products is perfectly safe. As always, use safe handling techniques with all raw meats. Swine flu is a virus that originally infected only pigs and they spread it from o ( Full Answer )

What strain of influenza is the 2009 Swine Flu?

A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)v-like virus This is the name of the very specific strain that was selected to be used in the US approved vaccines for the Pandemic swine flu. See the related question below for more details of this nomenclature and other names of the 2009 Swine Flu.

Did the 2009 Swine Flu affect America?

Yes, during the 2009 swine flu (H1N1/09) pandemic, there were effects in all of both North and South America along with all countries and continents of the world. Negative effects included illness, lost work production, lost wages, closed schools and universities, medical costs, and of course, death ( Full Answer )

How many people have died from the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic?

The daily and weekly counts of cases and deaths from the 2009 swine flu (which were initially required by the CDC, WHO, and national health departments of most nations during the pandemic) have stopped now that the pandemic has been declared over. Therefore, there is no way to know the numbers for t ( Full Answer )

Is the 2009 flu stronger than the 1976 Swine Flu?

The swine flu outbreak in 1976 at the Fort Dix, New Jersey military base was feared to be potentially extremely deadly, and the government reacted quickly then because those first affected were young, healthy soldiers. This was so different from the normal seasonal flu that the quick action may have ( Full Answer )

What percentage of people die from the 2009 Swine Flu?

UPDATE 03/07/10 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that, as of 2/12/10, since the beginning of the pandemic, the US has had approximately 57 million cases of A-H1N1/09 Pandemic Swine Flu and approximately 11,690 resulting deaths . Based upon this, an estim ( Full Answer )

Does Swine Flu cause pneumonia?

Yes it can. Complications from swine flu can cause respiratory infections including pneumonia. Swine flu itself can evolve into viral pneumonia, or it can be what is called an "opportunistic" bacterial infection (secondary infection) that a weakened immune system or one that is busy fighting the vir ( Full Answer )

What can the Swine Flu cause?

the swine flu has all of the symptoms of the regular flu. everyone is overreacting, do not worrie about it. no affence if you or anyone you know wears them, but you should not wear the mask. the mask traps the germ inside of it and u then will breath it in. hope i helped.

How does the 2009 swine flu compare to the 1918 Spanish flu?

It doesn't even come close, so far. As of 29 June 2009 the cumulative total number of officially confirmed cases of Novel H1N1 World Wide is reported to be 70, 893 confirmed cases and 311 deaths since beginning in late March. It is estimated that approximately one million people so far in the US alo ( Full Answer )

How many cases of Swine Flu have there been in the 2009 pandemic?

From the World Health Organization (WHO): " 5 March 2010 -- As of 28 February 2010, worldwide more than 213 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 16455 deaths. Summary: In the temperate z ( Full Answer )

Is the 2009 Swine Flu bad?

It has the potential to be, but there are available treatments for those who are infected with the disease and there are plenty of preventative measures that can be done to prevent the spreading and worsening of the disease.

What is causing the Swine Flu?

the swine flu is caused by pigs, but eating the pork doen't spread the flu to your body. the flu is also contaigious by speading from people to people. the government is also thinking to shut down the school, it the flu case becomes worse!. Swine flu was first started when little kids were messing ( Full Answer )

What happens if someone at school gets 2009 Swine Flu?

Each school system set up their own rules and precautions regarding the swine flu during the pandemic. Some required that students with any flu-like illness symptoms stay home until they were symptom free. Some schools had so many illnesses that they had to close their doors to prevent spread to eve ( Full Answer )

What kind of pathogen is caused by Swine Flu?

swine flu is not a pathogen or causes the pathogen it is caused by a pathogen a pathogen is a micro organism that causes diseases such as bacteria or viruses etc and the pathogen of swine flu is virus H1N1 pandemic.

How many people have died from the Swine Flu in Canada in 2009?

Since the daily and weekly counts of cases and deaths from the swine flu, which were initially required by the CDC, WHO, and national health departments of most nations have stopped since the pandemic was declared over, there is no way to know how many now. One reason is there are still ongoing case ( Full Answer )

Is Swine Flu caused by global warming?

No. Swine flu is caused by a strain of virus that is a mutation of the swine influenza virus, that is now transmittable by human to human contacts, called Novel H1N1 flu. Typically flu viruses thrive in cooler weather with lower absolute humidity levels, as evidenced by the seasonal flu each year oc ( Full Answer )

What are the three animals that cause the Swine Flu?

I am not sure what you mean but I think the pig, chicken and humans are the only animals that are related to the swine flu.BUT I am NOT sure about the animals that cause the swine flu .

What is the causative organism of Swine Flu?

Viruses. Flu of any type is caused by influenza viruses. In swine flu the specific microbe is the Influenza Type A, H1N1/09 virus. Additional Note: Viruses are sometimes classified as microbes. However, not all scientists classify a virus as a "microbe". Most of them do for lack of a better ( Full Answer )

Does swine flu cause loss of voice?

It is not one of the most common symptoms, however, with any type of flu, the cough and inflammation of the upper respiratory system can result in hoarseness or laryngitis. This can progress to the point of inability to speak. Rest your voice as much as possible, take OTC cough medicines that contai ( Full Answer )

What does Swine Flu cause?

The H1N1/09 pandemic swine flu virus causes influenza. The symptoms are the same as most other types of flu. It has caused millions of people world-wide to become sick with the flu and thousands of deaths. It is a milder disease than some other types of flu, including the regular seasonal flu that, ( Full Answer )

When were the first cases of Swine Flu reported in 2009?

It was in March 2009 when the illness broke out in a small town in southern Mexico. La Gloria has about 3,000 people, and it is now believed the first human cases of the Novel H1N1 Influenza may have started there. However, although a particular pig farm in Mexico was thought to have perhaps had the ( Full Answer )

Can a small cough cause Swine Flu?

It can cause the spread of swine flu if not covered with a tissue or crook of the arm to prevent the release of respiratory droplets that can carry to virus to surfaces or even directly to other people who are nearby.

Why does Swine Flu cause death?

In the Novel H1N1 pandemic, underlying disease is one of the most prominent factors in causes of death. Usually it is pneumonia that proves fatal to the high risk patients with pregnancy, or chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, HIV/AIDS which makes it more difficult for them to recover from the p ( Full Answer )

Will swine flu affect a holiday to Greece in September 2009?

The best plan is to contact the hotel or resort where you will be staying for information about how they are being impacted by the pandemic. You can also contact your airline for information. Some countries are screening incoming passengers for symptoms of the flu and even putting them in quarantine ( Full Answer )

Is Swine Flu caused by birds?

You might be thinking of the avian/bird flu. Avian means bird and this type of avian flu can be passed to humans through direct contact with infected birds or their saliva or feces. But, having said that, birds did play a role in the development of the new virus A-H1N1/09, known also as "Swine F ( Full Answer )

What date did the 2009 pandemic of Swine Flu start?

The World Health Organization declared Pandemic Phase 6 criteria had been met on June 11, 2009. . The Influenza A, Novel H1N1 "swine flu," was first detected in late March 2009. This new strain of virus has been tracked back to a child from La Gloria, a small village in Southern Mexico (where t ( Full Answer )

Who discovered the cause of the Swine Flu?

No one person is credited with discovering this new flu virus in 2009. It was a joint effort by scientists in Mexico, the US and the World Health Organization. The US CDC investigated the virus and determined it was a new strain that was causing it. They also were the ones to isolate the new virus a ( Full Answer )

How many people died from Swine Flu in Australia in 2009?

Since the daily and weekly counts of cases and deaths from the swine flu, which were initially required by the CDC, WHO, and national health departments of most nations have stopped since the pandemic was declared over, there is no way to know how many now. One reason is there are still ongoing case ( Full Answer )

Is the current 2009 Swine Flu contagious?

Yes, the A-H1N1/09 pandemic swine flu is called a pandemic because it is a very contagious strain of virus and has spread all over the world rapidly since it started in late March 2009. It has been estimated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that world wide during the approximate ( Full Answer )

Is Swine Flu a microorganism causing disease?

No. It is a virus. Viruses are small (smaller than bacteria. You cannot view them with anything less than the Electron Microscope which I really doubt you will be allowed to use).They consist of a small outer chemical shell (similar to a cell wall, but its still even smaller) and inside is a fluid c ( Full Answer )

What fungi causes Swine Flu?

Swine Flu A-H1N1/09 is caused by a virus, not by a fungus. The virus is a Type A Influenza strain named A-H1N1/09 or also called the Pandemic Swine Flu virus among other names around the world.

What is the causative organism of the 2009 Swine Flu H1N1?

Viruses cause flu. The swine flu virus is the Influenza Type A, Novel H1N1 virus (aka A-H1N1/09 virus). It is a sub-microscopic organism. Human Influenza refers to one of the three major types of flu viruses ( Influenza types A,B, and C) that are endemic to the human population. These are in the ta ( Full Answer )

What disease does Swine Flu cause?

Influenza. It is caused by this new strain of virus that was isolated in Mexico and is now known to be the underlying organism that caused the 2009 pandemic.

How many deaths did the swine flu cause?

Counts were only kept up to a certain point in the pandemic and are no longer being kept, so an accurate number is unavailable. There may be some ongoing cases in limited locations around the world. However, the specifics and counts of cases are no longer being tracked by CDC, WHO, the US states, an ( Full Answer )

What is Swine Flu the cause of?

Swine flu viruses cause influenza symptoms (see the related question for additional information about the symptoms of influenza), and in some people, it can cause severe respiratory disease with complications and even death.

Why was swine flu big in 2009 but no one is afraid of it now?

It was a new form of Type A influenza viruses which are the kind that cause all pandemics. It had potential to cause pandemic and it was unknown if it would be a deadly strain of flu or not since it was new. Indications from the early cases were that it was very virulent with deaths of otherwise hea ( Full Answer )

Why do you need Swine Flu vaccination again this year when you had it in 2009?

You really don't need it again this year if you had the vaccination last year and have an otherwise healthy immune system, since there is no indication that the H1N1/09 virus has mutated to a significantly different strain. However, it would not hurt at all to have it again, it just isn't necessary. ( Full Answer )

Is Swine Flu is caused by birds?

Yes, from chickens in China. The chickens in China are inside the house and mix with pigs and people. The chickens got the flu, gave it to the pigs, the pigs passed it to humans. As it went on the virus mutated and made the transfer from animal to human.

Do artificial colors cause Swine Flu?

No information suggests that there is any connection between the viral infection that causes swine flu and food colors or other artificial colors. Swine flu (H1N1) is caused by a virus (Type A, H1N1/09 influenza virus), as is the "regular" flu.

Why does Swine Flu cause coughing?

Because the viruses that cause the flu, including swine flu, attack the mucus tissue especially in the respiratory tract. This causes inflammation, congestion, runny nose and increased production of mucus which trigger coughing. See related questions below for more information.

Is Swine Flu caused by bacteria or a virus?

It's a virus like other flu types.... Hence why we don't use antibiotics (anti bacterial) drugs to treat the flu. In more severe cases of flu, swine flu, bird flu doctors may prescribe anti viral drugs to combat the infection.

What was the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009?

In the spring of 2009 a new virus that causes a new influenza illness -- A-H1N1/09 (swine flu) -- was discovered in Mexico. It started as a local outbreak and quickly spread into an epidemic throughout Mexico, then the US and eventually all of North America. By the time of the fall 2009-2010 flu sea ( Full Answer )

How many Britains died from Swine Flu in 2009?

That total number is unknown, unfortunately. Only estimates are available, no complete confirmed counts have been able to be done for the entire pandemic period. The specifics and counts of cases are no longer being tracked by the World Health Organization (WHO) now that the pandemic has been declar ( Full Answer )

Is Swine Flu caused by microorganisms?

Swine flu is caused by a virus. Viruses are submicroscopic organisms that are so small they can only be "seen" with an electron microscope. A regular microscope does not allow us to see things as small as a virus particle. See the related questions below for additional information about the pathog ( Full Answer )

Does the swine flu vaccine cause sterility?

No. The mere statement of a conspiracy theory does not lend any credence to the statement. If you want proof of a claim, back it up by verifiable, scientific sources.

What is the type of pathogen that causes Swine Flu?

It is the similar virus like flu virus that causes swine flu. Only thing that this virus has evolved in swine. It affects the human accidentally. Human to human spread is uncommon. ( A dental student stayed in the room of contributor for about a week. Contributor did not get the infection. Though ( Full Answer )