Scientists find H1N1 flu virus prevalent in animals in Africa

(PhysOrg.com) -- UCLA life scientists and their colleagues have discovered the first evidence of the H1N1 virus in animals in Africa. In one village in northern Cameroon, a staggering 89 percent of the pigs studied had been ...

Obama vows return to US science prominence (Update)

President Barack Obama pledged Monday to return the United States to a "high water mark" of scientific achievement, announcing a goal to commit three percent of GDP to research and development.

How thermal-imaging cameras can spot flu fevers

(AP) -- To screen passengers for swine flu and other contagious diseases, some airports use thermal imaging cameras to see whether travelers have fevers, without having to stick thermometers in their mouths. So how do the ...

New mass death of birds in Sweden

In a week that saw unexplained massive bird deaths in the southern United States, up to 100 birds were found lying in a snow-covered street in Sweden Wednesday, officials said.

Studies: Swine flu spreads long after fever stops (Update)

(AP) -- When the coughing stops is probably a better sign of when a swine flu patient is no longer contagious, experts said after seeing new research that suggests the virus can still spread many days after a fever goes ...

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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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